Saudi Embassy in Pakistan refutes reports barring Qatari nationals from performing Umrah

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: The embassy of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad categorically denied the false reports circulated in local media that Qatari nationals have been barred from performing Umrah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The KSA embassy media section in Islamabad issued a statement in which they appealed to local media in Pakistan to properly check their information and its credibility, and not believe mere accusations promoted by Qatari authorities. They added that these accusations are refuted by facts and concrete reality from scenes of Saudi Arabia’s care for pilgrims at the holy site year round.

This reaction comes in response to a statement released by the Qatari embassy in Islamabad accusing the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for not allowing Qatari nationals to perform their rituals at the holy site. The Saudi embassy’s statement added that Qatar has “not been enabling its citizens to perform Hajj and Umrah in order to earn media attention”.

In the statement, the embassy said that since the first day of the decision to boycott Qatar, cutting all diplomatic and consular ties, Saudi Arabia ensured that the process of pilgrimage for Umrah and Hajj would be completely facilitated for Qatari nationals in accordance with procedures organised by the relevant authorities.

In another move Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim, the son of Qatar’s former foreign minister Sheikh Suhaim bin Hamad Al-Thani, said through his official twitter account in Arabic language that,  “While our older brother rises above political differences and opens its doors and heart to our people to perform Umrah, The Hamad regime insists on banning them from visiting the House of God… All so that their alibi as victims can continue. What a sin you have done in front of God.”

In another tweet, Sheikh Sultan said that the Qatari regime will pay for this act.

“The day will come where the Qatari people will make you pay for this injustice and banning them from performing Umrah and Hajj. Several sins surround your necks but you do not fear God and do not care except for your benefits,” Sheikh Sultan tweeted.

The statement added that the Qatari statement is a mere continuation of that, and another attempt to wrongfully blame the kingdom. The Saudi embassy’s statement also falsified some reports by local Pakistani newspapers that mentioned that Qatari nationals were banned from performing their religious rituals in the kingdom.

The statement ensures that the kingdom’s leadership and people welcome anyone who wants to visit the holy site, including Qataris.

The Saudi embassy has since received a number of Qatari pilgrims who had arrived straight from the King Abdul Aziz International Airport, and provided them with all the services needed to facilitate their pilgrimage, as is done with all Muslims around the world.

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