Pakistan’s religion ministry orders banks to refund all Hajj applicants by July 28

In this file photo Pakistani pilgrims wait in queue to clear security as part of the first group to arrive in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for Hajj on July 24, 2017. (AFP/File)
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Updated 16 July 2020

Pakistan’s religion ministry orders banks to refund all Hajj applicants by July 28

  • A total of 180,000 Pakistanis were scheduled to perform the Hajj this year
  • Saudi authorities announced this year’s Hajj will be limited to 10,000 people residing inside the Kingdom

ISLAMABAD: A spokesman for Pakistan’s religion ministry said on Thursday it had reissued instructions that all pending dues be reimbursed to Hajj applicants, saying they should withdraw their dues from banks “as soon as possible.”
Last month, the Pakistan government said it would refund all those who had paid dues to perform the Hajj pilgrimage under a government scheme, following Saudi Arabia’s decision to limit the annual pilgrimage this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A total of 180,000 Pakistanis were scheduled to perform the Hajj this year, over 107,500 under a government program.
“All nominated banks have been instructed to complete the refund process by July 28,” a spokesman for the religious affairs ministry said in a statement.
He said the ministry had not issued any instructions that the dues be kept in banks or new bank accounts be opened.
“All nominated banks are obliged to pay all dues without deduction,” the statement said. “The ministry is in constant touch with the banks for easy refund of money to all Hajj applicants. In case of any difficulty or concern, users should contact the Religious Affairs complaints number.”


Pakistani army chief, Saudi ambassador discuss regional security 

Updated 10 August 2020

Pakistani army chief, Saudi ambassador discuss regional security 

  • Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy calls on General Qamar Javed Bajwa
  • The two leaders discuss matters of mutual interest, bilateral defense relations 

ISLAMABAD: Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, called on Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday and discussed the security situation in the region, the military’s media wing said. 
“Matters of mutual interest, regional security situation and bilateral defense relations between the two brotherly countries were discussed during the meeting,” the Pakistani army said in a statement.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are longtime allies. Saudi Arabia remains the main source of Pakistan’s remittances despite global business shutdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic. The country has also loaned Pakistan billions of dollars in recent months to help stave off a balance of payments crisis, and offered oil on deferred payments.