Qadri, Saudi interior minister discuss Hajj, Umrah issues

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Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noor ul Haq Qadri Monday discussed Hajj and Umrah issues with Saudi Arabia’s Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif.

The Saudi Arabia’s interior minister was on a day-long visit to Pakistan. Besides holding a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, he also met with Noor ul Haq Qadri.

During the meeting, Umrah and Hajj pilgrims’ visa and immigration issues under COVID-19 standard operating procedures were discussed between the two dignitaries. Religious Minister Qadri appreciated the Saudi government and interior ministry’s unflinching services for the security of Umrah and Hajj pilgrims.

He said the Saudi interior minister had hinted to include two more cities in ‘Road to Makkah’ project.

Meanwhile, an official of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony said it was taking all anticipatory actions for smooth operation of Hajj 2022.

Though the Hajj Policy 2022 had yet to be announced due to certain reasons but the ministry in advance adopted measures for facilitating the intending pilgrims.

He said the ministry had floated tenders for the procurement of 40,000 doses each of Meningococcal (Meningitis ACYW-135) and Quadrivalent / Tetravalent Seasonal Influenza vaccines.

It had also invited the expression of interest from the scheduled banks to collect applications of the intending pilgrims for Hajj-2022, the official added.

Similarly, talks were under way with private airlines for the transportation of the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia and back, he said.

The official explained that the ministry was making all arrangements for smooth sailing if the Hajj Policy 2022 was announced any time.

He said the ministry had to follow the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules and it took a due course of time for making all the following arrangements.

He also urged the intending pilgrims not to submit their hard-earned money to any private tour operator as long as the Hajj Policy 2022 was not announced by the ministry.

He also cautioned the tour operators of strict action for collecting money in the wake of Hajj applications.