The formal decision was made on Wednesday, at a high level meeting chaired by the Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Mohammad Yousuf.
The committee included two clerics from each of the four major sects in the capital- Shia, Barelvi, Deobandi and Ahle Hadith.
According to the sources, the major difference in the prayer timings was at Maghrib and the issue has been resolved between the committee members.
Mufti Jameel ur Rehman Farooqui, a member of the committee told there was a difference of eight minutes between the call for prayer by Barelvis and Deobandis and Ahle Tashi (Shia) at Maghrib. “The Barelvis and Deobandis will delay the time by five minutes and Shias will call the Azan three minutes earlier to have one time for Maghrib,” he further said.
“The federal government has decided, in principle, to introduce Nizam-e-Salat with unified timings in Islamabad. Only the mode of implementation remains to be finalized. It is a major step in promoting sectarian harmony,” Sardar Muhammad Yousuf said.
Under the system, the timing for the call to prayer will be decided according to seasonal changes and the Azaan calendar will be distributed by the government to all mosques.
“For Shias, the time for Maghrib Azaan is when the sky’s redness is gone and this is the time observed in Saudi Arabia as well, but it is traditional among Shia muezzin to further delay the Azaan by 2-3 minutes to recite the Quran,” Dr S Mohammad Najfi said.
“If this delay is cut down, the time gap between Azaans of various sects can be easily reduced,” he added.
Traders and business community welcomed the decision as they termed it a revolutionary step.
“This will be a revolutionary step for the Pakistani society as we hear Azaan for up to two hours in a day,” Khursheed Qureshi, President Jamiat ul Qureaish Meat Welfare Association said.
According to the data available to PakistanTribe.com Pakistan capital city, Islamabad has more than 827 mosques and 280 seminaries belonging to different sects.
Majority of the mosques, belonged to the Brailvi sect (460) followed by Deobandi (285), Ahle Tashee (36) and Ahle Hadith (34) while few don’t accept their affiliation with any sect.