Federal Minister For Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri on Saturday said that any decision on Hajj 2020 would be made by 15th Ramazan.
“We are in constant touch with the Saudi Hajj authorities over the matter,” said the minister adding that currently they had barred them from signing deals for Hajj arrangements.
He said that the Saudi government was analyzing the situation closely in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. “They have different options on the table for allowing Hajj proceedings this year,” he said.
While divulging details of the options, the minister said 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.
“Saudi government will take any decision on the matter after consulting with the Pakistani government,” he said.
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,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention here that Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony extended the deadline for the submission of medical certificates for pilgrims registered under the government’s Hajj scheme.
The Hajj pilgrims could submit their medical certificates in the banks till April 30 – 2020. The extension was made following the current situation of lockdowns due to COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Earlier on March 26, it emerged that Saudi authorities had stopped Pakistan from finalising agreements relating to Hajj 2020 arrangements amid coronavirus pandemic.
According to a letter written by Saudi Hajj Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten to Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noor ul Haq Qadri, Pakistan was asked to stop finalizing its agreements regarding housing, food and travel arrangements for now.