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NA passes bill to set up Federal Ruet-e-Hilal Committee to regulate moon sighting

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NA passes bill to set up Federal Ruet-e-Hilal Committee to regulate moon sighting

The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the Pakistan Ruet-e-Hilal Bill 2022 reconstituting the body and suggesting penalties on those who announce the sighting of moon before the official announcement. 

The bill, which had been pending in the assembly since 2021, was moved by Minister of State for Law and Justice Shahadat Awan in the absence of Religious Affairs Minister Talha Mehmood. 

The bill provided for a 15-member federal committee that will function as the “Federal Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.” It will comprise two ulema each from the four provinces and one each from Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. It will also have representation from ministries of science and technology and religious affairs and the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco). Grade 20 officers will be a part of this body. 

According to the bill, ulema included in the committee will be required to have a master’s degree in Islamiat and 15 years of experience, besides a degree of Shahadatul Almiya approved by the HEC. The term of the federal committee will be three years. 

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The committee chairperson will be appointed on a rotational basis from the provinces and the federation and will be responsible for the decision of moon sighting. 

The bill provides that violators will be fined Rs500,000 while those making false evidence of moon sighting will be imprisoned for three years and fined Rs50,000. 

Any TV channel which makes announcement about the moon sighting before the official announcement by the federal committee will be fined Rs1 million or its licence will be revoked. Under the bill, provincial and district committees will also be constituted besides the federal body. 

The provincial committee will comprise 13 members, Islamabad-based committee seven, while the district committees will consist of six members in which scholars from all schools of thought will have representation. 

According to the bill, a master’s degree in Islamiat with a 10-year experience in Sharia is mandatory for the members of Islamabad and provincial committees whereas the members of district committees will be required to have a master’s degree in Islamiat with one year of experience in Sharia.

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The bill will now be tabled in the Senate for approval.

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Senator Vawda for reexamination of non-filers’ exemption for Hajj and Umrah

Senator Vawda for reexamination of non-filers’ exemption for Hajj and Umrah

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Senator Vawda for reexamination of non-filers' exemption for Hajj and Umrah

Senator Faisal Vawda has said the exemptions to the non-filers for Hajj and Umrah package should be reexamined.

Speaking at the Senate Committee on Finance meeting on budget, he questioned why non-filers were given exemption for Hajj and Umrah.

He said the media employees’ salaries were cut down during the Covid pandemic which should be returned to them immediately.

However, the committee chairman asked the senator to suggest the meeting what can be done in this regard?

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A meeting should be held with the Ministry of Information to make housing schemes and give incentives to the media workers to mitigate their hardships, Vawda suggested.

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COAS Munir pledges full support for successful implementation of CPEC

COAS Munir pledges full support for successful implementation of CPEC

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COAS Munir pledges full support for successful implementation of CPEC

Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir reaffirmed Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to the strategic partnership with China and pledged full support for the successful implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

He expressed the resolve during a meeting with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC), who called on him at General Headquarters on Friday.

During the meeting, both discussed matters of mutual interest, including regional peace and stability, and reviewed progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Mr. Liu Jianchao highlighted that he is visiting Pakistan as a follow up of the successful meetings between the leadership of the two countries in China.

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Also Read: All parties on same page for execution of CPEC project: Deputy PM Ishaq Dar

He emphasised the significance of the longstanding brotherly relations between the two nations and expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved on CPEC, reiterating China’s commitment to its timely completion.

The visiting dignitary also commended Pakistan’s efforts in maintaining regional peace and stability, acknowledging the support of the Pakistan Armed Forces in providing security to Chinese nationals and projects in Pakistan.

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All political parties back CPEC, call it game changer

All political parties back CPEC, call it game changer

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All political parties back CPEC, call it game changer

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman declared that there is a national consensus on CPEC in Pakistan.

Addressing the Pakistan-China joint consultative session, Maulana remarked that China always unconditionally supported Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, and Pakistan similarly supported China on the Taiwan issue. He stressed the need to complete suspended projects with China and enhance further cooperation, asserting that China’s protocol should remain intact.

Yusuf Raza Gilani

Senate Chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani, while addressing the meeting, highlighted that CPEC is a crucial project for economic development and that the fellowship between Pakistan and China is higher than the Himalayas. He described CPEC as the backbone of the Pakistani economy and a warrantor of a better future and development for both countries.

Ayaz Sadiq

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Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq said that Pakistan and China are supporters of peace and prosperity in the region. He believed that the CPEC project significantly contributed to social and economic development. Sadiq noted that CPEC would be strengthened by promoting relations between the political parties of Pakistan and China and that the BRI project further reinforced the ties between the two states. He mentioned that the CPEC project faced disinformation in the past. He said that despite it the project remains a catalyst for poverty reduction, economic growth, and trade promotion.

More to read: Pakistan, China agree to explore opportunities under CPEC

Ahsan Iqbal

Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, speaking at the China-Pakistan Consultative Mechanism meeting, highlighted the unique friendly relations between Pakistan and China. He reiterated the national consensus on CPEC and assured that the Pakistani nation would never forget China’s support. Ahsan Iqbal stressed the importance of working together to secure the future and that the exchange of delegations would foster harmony between politicians from both sides. He highlighted that the political parties’ sitting together demonstrates a united political leadership. He thanked the Chinese leadership for their cooperation during Pakistan’s challenging times and mentioned that two-sided relations and cooperation were discussed during the Prime Minister’s visit to China.

Hina Rabbani Khar

Pakistan People’s Party leader and former minister Hina Rabbani Khar affirmed that all political parties are united in support of CPEC and underscored the significant role of Pakistan and China in the global scheme. She praised China’s progress in science and technology and noted that the People’s Party leadership laid the foundation for Pakistan-China relations. She mentioned that these relations were continued by Benazir Bhutto, Asif Zardari, and Bilawal Bhutto. Khar welcomed the representation of all political parties in the joint session. 

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