PESHAWAR: The Ruet-e-Hilal Research Council (RHRC) says the holy month of Ramazan is expected to begin in Pakistan from Thursday.

The PHRC secretary general Khalid Ejaz Mufti said the Ramazan crescent can be visible only if its age is over 19 hours at sunset. He said the age of the new moon will be over 26 hours in Pakistan on Wednesday evening due to which it will be easily visible if the sky is clear.

The Pakistan Metrological Department also said Tuesday that there are fair chances of sighting the new crescent of Ramazan on Wednesday evening.

A meeting of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will be held in Karachi on Wednesday (tomorrow) evening for sighting the Ramazan moon. Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman would preside over the meeting of the Committee. The provincial and district Ruet-e-Hilal committees would also meet in their respective areas.

In Pakistan, the subject of Ramazan moon-sighting often remains controversial as some local unofficial committees, especially the one led by Mufti Shahabuddin Populzai in Peshawar, announce moon-sighting one day ahead of the official Ruet-e-Hilal Committee. The followers of the local committee in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata accordingly observe Ramazan and Eidul Fitr one day ahead of the rest of the country.

Most Afghan refugees in Pakistan also follow Saudi Arabia in observing Ramazan and Eid.

Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has fixed the Nisab for Zakat deduction on bank accounts at Rs39,198 for this year.

An official statement said the Zakat will be deducted from saving accounts, profit and loss sharing accounts and other similar accounts.