Imran Siddiqui, the Religious Affairs Ministry of Pakistan’s spokesperson, confirmed in a public statement, that they would return the money deposited by the successful applicants for the government’s Hajj scheme this year.
The announcement comes after Saudi Arabia decided decides to hold Hajj 2020 with “a very limited number” pilgrims from among those already residing in the kingdom, the ministry’s spokesperson, Imran Siddiqui said in a statement.
The Saudi ministry said the decision had been made “in light of continuation of the pandemic and the risks of Coronavirus spreading in crowded spaces and large gatherings.” The statement said: “A very limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in Saudi Arabia, would be able to perform it.”
Siddiqui said that Pakistani envoy, diplomatic officials and the Pakistan Hajj Directorate in the kingdom would represent the country this year as Saudi government announced that it would bar arrivals from abroad for the Hajj.
“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,” Siddiqui said.
He said that Saudi Minister for Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten telephoned his Pakistani counterpart Pir Noorul Haq Qadri to inform him about the Kingdom’s decision to hold Hajj with a very limited number of pilgrims.
Before the emergence of coronavirus, a total 179,210 Pakistanis had registered themselves to perform Hajj this year. They included 107,526 intending pilgrims under the government scheme and 71,684 under the private scheme.