Saudi Arabia tells Pakistan to not prepare Hajj agreement amid coronavirus epidemic

RIYADH/ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia on Thursday told Pakistan not to prepare a Hajj agreement this year as the coronavirus panic spreads throughout the world, according to a letter received from the kingdom.

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In the letter sent to Religious Affairs Minister Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten said there should be no agreement this time owing to the lockdown and containment measures against the novel coronavirus.

The kingdom, according to Dr Mohammad Saleh, was continuously monitoring the situation and said that it will inform as soon as a marked improvement regarding the coronavirus was observed.

Qadri consequently halted work on the upcoming Hajj agreement.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony had conducted balloting for the government’s Hajj scheme under which almost 100,000 pilgrims were picked to would go to Saudi Arabia to perform the annual pilgrimage later this year.

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