HYDERABAD: Saudi Arabia’s announcement of not allowing foreign pilgrims has sent shockwaves among Muslims.
The Coronavirus pandemic once again upended the plans of millions of believers to make the pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia has barred foreign travellers from performing Haj for the second consecutive year. A total of 60,000 vaccinated pilgrims residing in the kingdom will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year, according to Saudi Ministries of Hajj and Health.
About 4,000 persons from Telangana state had applied for the journey this year. Every year about 10,000 pilgrims from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu fly to the two holy places.
Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi held a meeting with officials of Haj Committee of India two days ago and maintained that they would go with the decision of the government of Saudi Arabia.
Shaheen Sultana of Falaknuma said “I am not shocked but sad. To ensure pilgrimage we are following every instruction of the Saudi Arabian and Indian authorities. We have already taken vaccines. It is the dream of every Muslim believer to visit Mecca and Madina and do Haj but the pandemic has taken away our dream.”
Mohammed Dastagir Khan of Vattepally said he had planned for the pilgrimage this year and was hopeful that this time Saudi Arabia would allow pilgrims from other countries....