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Pakistan hopes Saudi Arabia will announce decision on hajj soon

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sahibzada Noor-ul-Haq Qadri has said that the government is still waiting for Saudi Arabia to announce its final decision on this year’s hajj.

Talking to the media he said that the government hoped the Saudi authorities would announce a final decision before the summer break.

Qadri said the decision on whether or not to go ahead with the hajj pilgrimage has not yet been taken as the formal MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Saudi Arabia has not been linked to date.

Nothing could be said in certainty right now about receiving hajj applications of the Government Hajj Scheme, however, Saudi Arabia has only told Pakistan not to finalize any hajj related agreement for time being.

The ministry was in touch with the Saudi authorities, he said adding that the number of hajj pilgrims might be increased this year as compared to the previous year when only a limited number of pilgrims were permitted to perform.

“A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed with the Saudi authorities in November 2020 however, it has not yet been signed till now, the minister added.

Earlier, the Saudi government said his officials had been coordinating with the hajj consul of the Pakistan Consulate General in Jeddah regarding this year’s hajj. The Saudi government said, “There has yet to be a decision from Saudi Arabia’s Hajj  on whether this year’s pilgrimage will take place or not.”