The government will sign an agreement with Saudi Arabia on January 9 on Hajj and it hopes that over 1.27 lakh Bangladeshis will be able to perform Hajj this year if the previous quota is upheld by the KSA government.
Mohammad Anowar Hossain, senior public relations officer of the Religious Affairs Ministry, told UNB that a three- member team led by State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan will leave for Saudi Arabia on January 7.
The Bangladeshi state minister and Saudi Hajj and Umarh Affairs Minister Dr Tawfiq Bin Al Rabiah will sign the agreement on the behalf of their respective countries.
According to the officials concerned of the ministry, the Saudi government may allow some 1, 27, 198 Bangladeshis to perform Hajj this year considering its population and the improved Covid-19 situation.
Of them, 15, 000 people will perform the Hajj under government management while 1, 12, 198 under private management, the public relations officer said adding that a draft has been prepared as per the plan.
Besides, Bangladesh will request to lift the embargo which restricts people over 65 years to perform Hajj, he said.
A hajj closer to normal: 1 million Muslims begin pilgrimage
On November 13, 2022, Bangladesh and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed a bilateral document on ‘Route to Mecca’ which will ease visit of Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrims to the kingdom.
Under Route to Mecca service agreement, Pilgrims would be able to complete their immigration in Dhaka prior to their departure to Saudi Arabia.
According to the ministry, 1, 27,000 people from Bangladesh performed Hajj in 2019 while the KSA government increased quota for Bangladeshi pilgrims by 10,000 in 2020. But Hajj was not held in the year for Covid-19 pandemic.
Only 60,000 people from Bangladesh were allowed to join the Hajj in 2022 as the Saudi government halved the quotas for pilgrims in different countries.
Source: United News of Bangladesh