How many men does it take to spot a moon? Apparently, the issue is such a heated one that there is a push for the parliament to pass legal and constitutional law on it.

Pakistan has witnessed controversies over moon-sighting during Eid in the past few years, mainly because Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai of Masjid Qasim Ali Khan in Peshawar disregarded the decisions of the Ruet-i-Hilal committee and made separate announcements over sighting of the Shawwal moon.

This year, to counter the very urgent problem of the two moons, the Ruet-i-Hilal committee urged the parliament to pass a law providing not just legal but constitutional protection to the committee.

However, with no time left for parliamentary proceedings, as the government cannot get the draft bill on the committee approved by both the houses of parliament, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has decided to forward the matter to the interior ministry. The Interior Ministry’s important tasks include state security, dealing with territorial affairs of FATA, and now, apparently, to determine when the moon was sighted.

In all seriousness, it would be efficient to have the State to declare the three days of Eid, to make planning for state sanctioned holidays easier. The system right now creates a lot of unpredictability, where most of the times, we do not know until late in the night whether we have to go to work the next day or not. A state declared Eid would certainly make planning for vacations and time management easier.

However, let us not pretend, as the Ruet-i-Hilal committee is, that having two Eids creates a negative impression of the country at global level. With the amount of tension between the provinces, the issue of two Eids is certainly not exigent enough for the state to provide protection to a Punjab based committee, and disavow a Peshawar one.