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Hajj may not happen this year, suggests minister

Hajj may not happen this year, suggests minister

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May 11, 2020 - 13:17

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The government says it has not signed yet any contracts, suggesting the Hajjinfo-icon ritual may not take place this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Media reports say the Saudi authorities will take a final decision on whether or not Hajj should happen this year amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Abdul Hakim Munib, the acting minister of hajj, told Pajhwok Afghan News that their procurement delegation had received no visas from the Saudi government so far.

“According to the situation, the annual Muslim pilgrimage will probably not happen this year. We will do our best to prepare ourselves, if we receive a call from the Saudi government,” he remarked.

Alam Shah Ibrahimi , director of the Ariana Afghan Airline, told Pajhwok the MoHRA had not yet approached them but they were fully prepared for Hajj flight operations.

He said: “All contracts for flying pilgrims to Saudi Arabia have been awarded to the Ariana Afghan Airlines. A few days back, we discussed it with the National Procurement Authority…:

One condition has been added to the contract -- if the Hajj is not preformed, neither party will be responsible to the other.”

Omar Elham Hotaki, the NPA director, said they had awarded all contracts on the condition that they would prepare for the Hajj if the pilgrimage took place.

“If the Saudi government decides to delay the Hajj, contractors will not be able to make the required preparations because a lot of work has to be done,” he argued.

On average, 30,000 Afghans preform Hajj every year.

sa/mud

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