IMO News Service
India has asked Saudi Arabia to consider its request to increase its annual Haj quota in 2019. The request was made by Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi during his recent meeting with Saudi Arabia Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten in Jeddah. Bilateral annual Haj 2019 agreement was also signed by the two leaders.
Mr Naqvi praised the Saudi Arabia government and said that it has always played an active and effective role to ensure safety and better facilities to Indian Haj pilgrims.
He also said that the bilateral relations between the two countries has strengthened.
Naqvi said, “India-Saudi Arabia relations have achieved newer heights under the leadership and guidance of Saudi Arabia King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Both the countries share strong cultural, historical, economic and political relations.”
The Minister said that Modi Government had for the first time lifted the ban on women going to Haj without Mehram (male companion) and after it about 1, 300 Indian Muslim women went on Haj in 2018.
Mr Naqvi said that it is for the first time after Independence that a record number of Muslims from India performed Haj this year, and that too without any subsidy.
The Haj Committee of India has so far received more than 247,000 applications for Haj in 2019, which includes about 47 percent women.