PM sees off Hajj pilgrimsNew Age Online
Terming Islam a religion of peace, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Friday said hoped that those who are tarnishing the image of Islam by unleashing terrorism and militancy shall be resisted from such crimes.
‘I feel very sorry when I see that the image of Islam, the greatest religion in the world, being tarnished by terrorism and militancy. I hope that those who are engaged in this crime will be refrained from it," she said.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating this year's Hajj programmes at Ashkona Haji Camp in Uttara this morning. With state minister for religious affairs Advocate Shahjahan Mian in the chair, the function was addressed by post and telecommunications minister Advocate Sahara Khatun, civil aviation and tourism minister Muhammad Faruq Khan and and Saudi ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Abdullah Al Nasser Abdullah Al Bushairi.
The Prime Minister in her speech thanked the Saudi government for its assistance for development and renovation of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque.
Illustrating her government's stride to restore discipline and order in Hajj management, she said the present government has framed the five- year (2010-2014) National Hajj Policy to ensure smooth Hajj management.
"The Saudi Hajj Ministry has recognised Bangladesh as the best South Asian country in developed Hajj management for the consecutive four years," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said special attention has been given to the rented houses in Makkah and Madinah to ensure better housing arrangement for the Hajj pilgrims.
"As many as 47,983 Hajj pilgrims performed Hajj in 2006, the last year of the BNP- Jamaat alliance government, while the number was 1,05,617 in 2011 and 1,09,952 in 2012," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the number of Hajj pilgrims has declined this year slightly as a provision has been made that those who performed Hajj in the last five years could not go to Hajj.
Besides, she said, the Saudi government has curtailed the quota of Hajj pilgrims by 20 percent applicable for all the countries.
A munajat was offered seeking continued peace, prosperity and development of the nation as well peaceful performing of Hajj by the Bangladeshi pilgrims. Later, Sheikh Hasina visited the Hajj camp and enquired about wellbeing of the Hajj pilgrims.
The first Hajj flight from Bangladesh begins tomorrow and will end on October 8. The return flights from Saudi Arabia will commence on October 19.
Flight arrangements have been made for the first time to send Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrims from Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.
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