Pakistan to intending Hajj pilgrims: Refrain from political activities in Saudi Arabia 

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Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi has urged intending Hajj pilgrims to follow “codal formalities of Saudi Arabia in letter and spirit” during their pilgrimage and refrain from engaging in political activities while in the Kingdom, Radio Pakistan reported on Wednesday.

Hajj, a once-in-a-lifetime religious duty for Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, is expected to run from June 14-19 this year.

“Ashrafi emphasized the Two Holy Mosques are the places of worship and not arenas for political expression or displays of nationalism,” Radio Pakistan reported. 

“He warned that raising slogans, flags or engaging in any other irrelevant activity is not allowed at the Two Holy Mosques and guarding their sanctity is obligatory upon Muslims.”

In April 2022, some Pakistani pilgrims who hounded and chanted slogans at then Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his delegation at the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Madinah were arrested by Saudi authorities, the media director of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad had confirmed at the time, saying protesters had “disrespected” the sanctity of the holy mosque.

Videos circulating on social media at the time showed Pakistani pilgrims at the mosque chanting slogans of “chor” (thieves) as the prime minister and his delegation passed by. In another video, pilgrims could be seen heckling and chanting abusive slogans at federal ministers Marriyum Aurangzeb and Shahzain Bugti as the pair were escorted by Saudi guards. A pilgrim could also be seen pulling Bugti’s hair from behind.

Since the incident, Pakistani leaders and Hajj officials have issued several warnings reminding the country’s nationals to follow rules and avoid political sloganeering and other activities while in Saudi Arabia.

Source: Arab News

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