Saudi Arabia has announced to limit the annual hajj pilgrimage to people living inside the country due to the COVID-19. Pilgrims from abroad have been restricted to perform hajj this year. Soon after the announcement, Pakistani took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
However, the Saudi government has made this decision to control the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, the kingdom’s coronavirus tally stands at 161,005 cases, including 1,307 deaths and 105,175 recoveries.
It’s every Muslim dream to perform hajj once in a lifetime. Especially, the majority of pilgrims belong to Pakistan. According to a report, 179,210 Pakistanis had registered to perform hajj this year (including 107,526 under the government scheme and 71,684 under the private scheme).
Pakistanis are now left heartbroken. However, many are happy that at least the Saudi locals will do the hajj.
— Hafiz Haris Qureshi (@HafizHarisQure1) June 23, 2020
The government of Saudi Arabia has decided to allow only locals to perform hajj this year #Hajj2020. International hajj has been cancelled.
وہ کعبہ کی رونق،وہ کعبہ کا منظر💔#Hajj pic.twitter.com/X3DukQcE3o
— Ayêshà..✨ (@AyeshaR45739064) June 23, 2020
I was going to perform Hajj this year with my mother but Saudi government has cancelled the International Hajj today. A very sad day. May Allah accept our intentions.#hajj2020 #hajj1441 pic.twitter.com/mjLXfxX3ru
— Waleed (@_waleedd_) June 22, 2020
Govt to return the payment to the registered pilgrims
Moreover, Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten informed Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri about the decision.
“An emergency meeting has been called to review the latest development during which the mechanism for the return of payments to those who had registered themselves for the government’s hajj scheme would be discussed,” said Spokesperson for Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Imran Siddiqui.
This will be the first year in modern times that foreign pilgrims have not been allowed to do hajj. Some 2.5 million pilgrims visit Makkah and Medina for the week-long hajj. Official data show Saudi Arabia earns around $12 billion a year from the Hajj and Umrah.
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