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JKAP expresses ‘solidarity’ with Haj aspirants

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Qualified Haj aspirants of 2020 be deemed as selected for next Haj pilgrimage: Altaf Bukhari

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday said the restrictions imposed on Haj pilgrimage this year in view of COVID-19 are deeply disappointing.

He, however, demanded that the Haj Committee of India should not refund Haj fee to the already selected Haj pilgrims of J&K and instead should allow them to embark on a holy journey next year on the already submitted applications.

“JKAP expresses solidarity with all those qualified Haj aspirants who were waiting to embark on this holy pilgrimage this year but could not visit holy sites because of the COVID pandemic. Haj Committee of India should at least provide some sigh of relief to the selected Haj aspirants who are in a state of despair because of cancellation of Haj pilgrimage this year,” Bukhari observed.

He said the Haj pilgrimage has always been about emotions and spirituality and not about money. “The Haj committee should at least give an opportunity to the selected Haj aspirants of this year who could not perform their obligatory ritual because of the natural crisis. Natural justice demands that this year’s qualified aspirants are deemed as selected for next year Haj pilgrimage, if no other exigency warrants the otherwise,” Bukhari remarked.

The JKAP president said that limiting the number of Haj pilgrims had become inevitable in view of the Coronavirus outbreak and huge fatalities caused by this deadly disease across the world.

Bukhari said the decision taken by Saudi kingdom is likely to ensure Hajj is performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective while observing all preventative measures. “Going by this contours of this decision, I, think it had become predictable for implementation of necessary social distancing protocols to protect human beings from the risks associated with this pandemic and in accordance with the teachings of Islam in preserving the lives of human beings,” the JKAP president averred.

“This is for the first time in modern history that Muslims outside the Saudi Arabia have been barred from performing Haj this year. We should seek forgiveness from Almighty Allah and go for repentance so that no further obstacles come in way of the Haj aspirants next year,” Bukhari remarked.

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