ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Monday while inaugurating Pakistan’s first space observatory said that it will help in moon sighting on Ramazan and Eid and develop a consensus on observing such events on the same day across the country.
“We will be able to assist the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee in sighting the moon of Ramazan and Eid through this observatory which would help develop consensus to observe such events on the same day in the country,” he said while speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Islamabad Space Observatory here on Monday at Shakarparian, Islamabad.
The minister said, “this is a historic occasion when we are building an observatory in Islamabad after which more such observatories will be built in Gwadar, Karachi and Peshawar.”
The federal minister observed that the field of astronomy has remained close to the hearts of the Muslim scientists and Muslim kings gave a great place to astronomers.
Since the beginning, man’s focus was on the sun, moon and stars and the stars were used to find the way in the ancient time, he said while quoting Allama Muhammad Iqbal, who said, “There are worlds beyond the stars.”
The minister stated that Pakistan was established as a modern Islamic country and started its space programme in the 1960’s but unfortunately “we lost our destination along the way.”
He stressed the need to discourage people with regressive thinking, asking how can religion be kept away from knowledge, reason and logic.
The minister also emphasised on making Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) more effective organization and said, “SUPARCO has still room for improvement” despite spending billions of rupees.
He said SUPARCO has also planned to send its first space mission to the moon in partnership with China which is a move towards regaining past glory.
Fawad also elaborated that SUPARCO must be handed over to Ministry of Science and Technology. He added that if SUPARCO was not handed over to Science Ministry, a civil space programme will be started.
Chairman Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Maulana Abdul Khabir and other members of the committee were also present on the occasion besides scientists and space technology experts.
Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad said that this year, Ramadan and Eid will be observed same day all over the country.
He said that assistance from Space Observatory for Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will be very beneficial. Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad also thanked Minister for Science and Technology for providing technical support to Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Dr. Shahid Baig said PSF has been working to promote science and technology and science centres have been set up in different cities in this regard.
He said that the PSF was also running science caravans for promoting awareness of science in the new generation. About the Islamabad Space Observatory, he said the observatory will be equipped with state-of-the-art telescopes. He said the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will be invited for moon sighting through this observatory.
This Article firstly Publish on nation.com.pk