Noorul Haq Qadri hints on sending limited Hajj pilgrims this year

Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony –  Noorul Haq Qadri has hinted on sending limited number of Pakistanis on Hajj pilgrimage this year.

In a statement, Noorul Haq Qadri reaffirmed that Pakistan has completed all essential arrangements regarding sending limited Hajj pilgrims this year as the Saudi government has still not announced this year’s Hajj policy.

Speaking to Voice of America (VOA), the federal minister apprised that Hajj expenses will increase this year due to additional COVID-19 SOPs.

Pakistan is in contact with Saudi government as the latter too intends to cooperate and collaborate with major Muslim countries for devising a comprehensive Hajj policy this year, said Noorul Haq Qadri.

Saudi Arabia is formulating strict SOPs to counter coronavirus during Hajj, and Pakistan will be ensuring implementation of these coronavirus SOPs, he added.

Expressing his views on additional requirements for Hajj pilgrims this year, Noorul Haq Qadri highlighted that all Pakistani pilgrims will have to undergo COVID-19 testing before departure who will be again screened upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia where they will also have to observe a three-day quarantine period.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 tests will be compulsory on arrival in Madina from Makkah and on returning back to Makkah.

Additionally, there will be a specific time for every country to perform Tawaf-e-Ziarat and Umrah in the Haram to maintain required social distancing measures.