Only 40,000 to 50,000 Pakistanis likely to perform Hajj in 2021

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Religious Affair and Interfaith Harmony Sahibzada Noor-ur-Haq Qadri said 40,000 to 50,000 Pakistanis might be allowed to perform the sacred religious ceremony of Hajj this year.
He said that the hajj 2021 would take place under special circumstances with special norms, rules and regulations, eligibility, criteria and age restrictions.
The intending pilgrims would be required to strictly follow SOPs (standard operating procedures) during Hajj. Only people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 would be allowed to attend Hajj this year and his ministry was ready to comply with this condition.
He said the pilgrims of less than 20 or over 50 years of age may not be permitted to perform hajj this year.
Saudi Arabia may allow hajj aspirants having sound health without serious illness.
However, he said that the Saudi government has not yet given green signal for going ahead with the hajj arrangements as various Saudi departments hajj, Umrah ministry, tourism, health, interior were still weighing options to make hajj safe and secure.
To a question, he said efforts were underway to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr across the country on same day.
Legal cover will be given to Ruet-e-Hilal committee. After legislation violation of Ruet-e-Hilal committee would be a punishable offence, he said. – NNI

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