The demand by federal Minister for Railways that Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, Chairman of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, should be replaced by Mufti Shahab-ud-Din Popalzai of his native Peshawar is irrational. He is recommending the case of a controversial person who has been running a parallel and unauthorised Ruet-e-Hilal committee for years and usually records 'witnesses of moon sightings a day earlier than the central committee every year. He has been defying not only the present chairman but almost every chairman that headed the central committee. Due to his stubborn intent for subversion, he has never allowed the people of this country to celebrate Eid on one day. This year too, he called a meeting on September 19, knowing fully well that rest of the country had only completed 28 days of fasting. The local Met office had also announced through a press release that there was no possibility of moon being sighted on that day, but lo and behold, Mufti Popalzai did. The ANP leaders are unnecessarily making the moon sighting a political issue even though it is a religious matter entirely. That is why they are being roundly condemned by one and all in the country. I for one cant understand why our government is so helpless before a man who, merely for the sake of creating a controversy that gives him prominence, uses the forum of the Qasim Ali Khan Mosque to divide the nation. He invites mischief-mongers of his own ilk to give evidence about moon sighting, usually on mere illusion, if not pure falsehood. No such mischief is done in any other part of Pakistan. This issue crops up only in NWFP and only at a particular mosque. -FIDA MUHAMMAD, Peshawar, September 25.