ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri has said that any decision on Hajj 2020 would be made by 15th Ramazan.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Qadri said that the Ministry of Religious Affairs is in constant touch with the Saudi Hajj authorities over the matter.
The statement further said that the Saudi government was analyzing the situation closely in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. “They have different options on the table for allowing Hajj proceedings this year,” it added.
Qadri said that the Saudi government was considering different options for allowing Hajj proceedings this year, adding that only those living in Saudi Arabia and in Gulf region could perform the obligatory pilgrimage while quota for other countries could be reduced to 10 percent only.
“Pakistan will finalise its decision after consulting the Saudi government,” said the minister.The minister said that the Hajj remained suspended completely or partially for 40 times in the Islamic history. “I feel that it could be performed if the current situation improves,” Qadri concluded.
Earlier, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony had extended the deadline for the submission of medical certificates for pilgrims registered under the government’s Hajj scheme.
According to a notification issued by Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, the Hajj pilgrims could submit their medical certificates in the designated banks till 30 April.
The notification further stated the extension was made following the current situation of lockdowns due to coronavirus outbreak.
According to Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, as many as 149,295 Hajj applications were received this year out of which 105,413 had been selected under government scheme through computerized open balloting.
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