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Saudi Arabia restores Pakistan’s pre-COVID Hajj quota, ends age limit

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  • Saudi Arabia restores Pakistan’s Hajj quota to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Age limit for Hajj pilgrims has been abolished by Riyadh. 
  • Hajj Policy 2023 will be announced after approval of cabinet. 

In a major development, Saudi Arabia restored Pakistan’s Hajj quota to pre-pandemic levels and lifted the upper age limit as the COVID-19 epidemic waned, confirmed Ministry for Religious Affairs on Monday.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Mufti Abdul Shakoor received a draft of the annual Hajj agreement from the Saudi authorities, under which, Pakistan’s previous Hajj quota of 179,210 pilgrims has been restored and the age limit of 65 years has been abolished, according to the ministry.

The religious affairs minister is currently in Saudi Arabia to attend the four-day International Hajj Conference. During his visit, the minister called on his Saudi counterpart and other officials.

According to the ministry, this year Hajj applications are likely to be invited by the end of February. The minister will announce the Hajj Policy 2023 after the approval of the federal cabinet.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia‘s Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq al-Rabi’ah, has said that delegations from 19 countries including Pakistan, India and Iran signed Hajj agreements.

These agreements detail the number of pilgrims, their arrival and departure, and the services offered to them.

Turkey, Sudan, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, and Bahrain are among the other signatories of the Hajj Agreement, said the Saudi minister.

Furthermore, a delegation including ministers from 12 countries met the minister, who then informed the delegations about the new facilities offered to Hajj pilgrims by the Saudi government.

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The PML-N is rushing to outlaw PTI and is asking President Zardari’s approval.

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The government on Friday decided to engage with its ally, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), in an attempt to lessen the strain brought on by the ruling of the supreme court to award reserved seats to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the negative reaction it received after declaring the PTI was banned.

Specifics state that President Asif Ali Zardari will also be present at the consultative meeting with the leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) on the subject.

Participants in the meeting, which would see the Attorney General brief them on the various legal elements of the cases, included PML-N leaders Ishaq Dar, Azam Tarar, Atta Tarar, Irfan Qadir, Ahad Cheema, and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

Ayyar Bokhari, Sherry Rehman, and Farooq H. Naek would be attending the meeting on behalf of the PPP.

The PML-N leaders, according to sources, would also have faith in the PPP leadership when it came to using Article 6 to remove three of the PTI’s most important leaders.

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Interior Minister Visits Mardan, Praising KP Police’s Insurgency Efforts

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On a visit to Takht Bhai, Mardan, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi offered the bereaved family of martyred constable Omar Nabi his deepest sympathies and condolences.

The interior minister praised the bravery and sacrifices made by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police in their conversation with the family of the policeman who was killed in action.

In addition to denouncing the terrorist attack on the police checkpoint in Takht Bhai, Mohsin Naqvi prayed for the quick healing of the two injured constables.

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The Punjab government’s “Roshan Gharana Program” would provide solar panels on easy installment plans.

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A program called “Roshan Gharana” has been developed by the Punjab government in response to the rising cost of electricity. Under this program, customers who use up to 500 units of electricity throughout the province would receive solar panels upon easy setup.

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