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Hajj could also be costlier in 2021, says spiritual affairs minister

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Federal Minister for Spiritual Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri. Picture: Geo.television/ file
  • Hajj to value extra this 12 months, says Federal Minister for Spiritual Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri
  • Saudi Arabia but to substantiate if it is going to permit Hajj in 2021
  • He stated if the Saudi authorities permits Hajj this 12 months, Pakistan plans to vaccinate pilgrims earlier than departure

ISLAMABAD: Hajj could also be costlier this 12 months if it allowed by the Saudi authorities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, says Federal Minister for Spiritual Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri.

It’s doubtless that the federal government can invite the non-public sector for Hajj packages due to the excessive value this 12 months, The Information quoted Qadri as saying.

Saudi Arabia has but to inform any nation if it is going to permit Hajj in 2021 or not. However Pakistan’s Hajj Directorate in Jeddah is in common contact with the Saudi Arabia Hajj Secretariat.

The operational value of Hajj is anticipated to extend for each nation this 12 months due to the implementation of coronavirus SOPs.

Learn extra: Hajj can’t be carried out in traditional method except COVID-19 vaccine is obtainable: Spiritual Affairs Minister

“We have officially written to the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination for provision of COVID vaccine for pilgrims. The ministry is planning to procure vaccines for healthcare personnel initially from China. We have requested the ministry to put pilgrims in the priority category too,” Qadri said. 

He said if the Saudi government allows Hajj this year, Pakistan will then vaccinate the pilgrims before their departure. 

But it is yet to be seen if the Saudi government approves the Chinese vaccine or not, he said, hoping Saudi Arabia doesn’t object to the Chinese vaccine.

Read more: Hajj to become more expensive in next few years

Last week, Pakistan’s Hajj director-general had a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Hajj secretary to inquire about the Hajj plans for 2021. The Saudi authorities assured that they will inform the directorate about the Hajj plans soon.

“Normally, we sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Saudi government on Hajj every year in November. But due to COVID-19, the MoU is yet to be signed. Last year we signed the agreement and after calculating the expenditures we sought applications. However, the Saudi government halted the Hajj operations for year 2020 due to COVID,” knowledgeable the federal minister.

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