India seeks additional Haj quota of 10,000

Jeddah: India has sought an additional Haj quota of 10,000 for this year`s annual pilgrimage to be performed by 1,70,000 pilgrims from the country. India`s request was conveyed by Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed during a visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss the Bilateral Agreement for Haj 2012. The annual Haj agreement was finalised after Ahamed met Bandar Bin Mohammed Bin Hamzah Asad Hajjar, Minister for Haj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

More than 1,70,000 pilgrims would be performing Haj from India this year. In view of the large number of Indians applying for Haj, the Minister made a special request to Minister of Haj for an additional quota of 10,000, according to a statement by Consulate General of India in Jeddah. The additional quota is usually released near to the time of commencement of the Haj, the statement said.

The Minister also made a formal request for providing metro train facility for the pilgrims coming through Haj Committee of India. The Saudi Minister has assured him to look into the request. The Minister also met with Chairman South Asian Moassasa on Tuesday and discussed various issues related to Haj arrangements.

A high level delegation, that included Mohsina Kidwai, Chairperson, Haj Committee of India, Hamid Ali Rao, Ambassador of India, AR Ghanashyam,Joint Secretary (Gulf and Haj) of Ministry of External Affairs, Faiz Ahmad Kidwai, Consul General of India and other officials, also accompanied him. Haj is one of the five tenets of Islam. It`s every Muslim`s desire to perform Haj at least once in his life time.