ISLAMABAD  -    There is criticism, and there are questions, but Chaudhry Fawad Hussain is determined to make his ministry more relevant through new ideas and innovations in the field of science.

After assuming the charge of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Fawad is still no stranger to criticism, but at the same time, he has managed to stay relevant in news media headlines. For a brief while after removal from the Information Ministry, he had stopped giving political statements.

He was also missing from several important meetings with the Prime Minister and party functions. But in recent days, he has started to defend the party and praises Prime Minister Imran Khan with renewed energy.

Fawad has also deftly used social media, especially Twitter, for announcements of new steps about his Ministry. Most of the people thought Fawad had landed in thick soup after starting a campaign for resolving the moon-sighting issue through scientific way, and he criticised the working of Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, its members and Chairman Mufti Muneeb Ur Rehman.

After all, not many people would dare to criticise the religious clergy. And, not many people can get away after such an act.

Fawad had said, “Those, who cannot even watch the person sitting next to him, are attempting to witness crescent.”

“Is moon sighting only from a 100-year-old telescope ‘Halal’ and usage of the modern telescope ‘Haraam’,” he asked in another biting criticism.

There was a chance that ulema would take a strong exception to his suggestions and demand the government to remove him from the portfolio because he was creating controversy on moon sighting issue.

But he successfully convinced the people and formed a five members committee including the officials from his Ministry and SUPACO with the task to make a 10-year Islamic calendar, which will be helpful to end the controversy that ascends every year before all mega events of the Islamic calendar.

He has said that a five-year Islamic calendar will be ready by 15th of Ramazan to determine holy days falling in an Islamic year.

He said that the proposed calendar would be presented before the Federal Cabinet for a decision.

Last week, he told a Press conference that his Ministry has three universities that will be tasked to prepare curriculum for science students of schools and colleges.

He said that the University of emerging sciences would be set up with Chinese help at Prime Minister House Islamabad.

He said that Pakistan is also endeavouring to conquer the space and the first astronaut will be launched by 2022.

The Minister announced to observe August as the month of Science and Technology. He said that an international science conference would also be arranged on August 31 this year, where scientists of repute will be invited to participate.

He said that his Ministry is going to solarise the building of Prime Minister Secretariat and 30 towns will be selected for the provision of clean drinking water.

He announced that the Federal government would celebrate a Science gala and organise the Science Conference in August in Islamabad.

He announced to provide loans for tech-based business ideas in Pakistan to help tech entrepreneurs.

Talking to The Nation, a close aide of the Federal Minister said, on condition of anonymity, that a strong lobby was against Fawad in the party, and they played a key role in his removal from the portfolio of Information Ministry and wanted to further sideline him. He said that Fawad was surprised over his sudden removal from the Information Ministry but several Cabinet members were also not happy with the move and appointment of Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information.

He denied the impression that Fawad is engaging media just for the self-promotion in the guise or new ideas in the field of Science.

He also denied that Fawad is lobbying to get back the portfolio of the Ministry of Information.

But who knows the Minister is known to make comebacks.