Final decision regarding Hajj will be made by the 15th of Ramadan

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Federal Minister of Religious Affairs and interfaith harmony, has said that the Saudi authorities will decide whether Hajj will be held or not by the 15th of Ramadan.

The Minister clarified that Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistan to halt Hajj agreements until the situation becomes clearerbut Pakistan is in direct contact with the relevant Saudi Ministry and Saudi Arabia will make a decision in this regard after consultation with Pakistan and other countries by the middle of Ramadan.

He said that the possibility of Hajj taking place is dependent upon the coronavirus situation improving drastically and the Saudi government has multiple options moving forward including permitting only local pilgrims to perform Hajj, permitting only Gulf counties  pilgrims or allow only 10 percent pilgrims from each country of the world to perform Hajj this year.

Earlier this month, the Minister for Hajj and Umrah said on state TV that Muslims should wait until there is more clarity about the coronavirus pandemic before planning to attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

"Under the current circumstances, as we are talking about the global pandemic... the kingdom is keen to protect the health of Muslims and citizens and so we have asked our brother Muslims in all countries to wait before doing [Hajj] contracts until the situation is clear", the Minister said.