4 million perform Hajj

Makkah, Oct 29: Nearly four million (40 lakh) pilgrims have performed Hajj this year, Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal announced Monday.
Addressing a press conference here, Prince Khaled urged the international media to highlight the great Hajj message that Muslims are a peace-loving people can coexist peacefully with others.
“Islam is a religion of moderation and service to humanity. It is a religion of peace and love and calls for peaceful coexistence with others,” the governor said. “Unfortunately only negative things about Islam and Muslims are highlighted by the media. Hajj is a unifying factor,” he added.
Speaking about measures to stop illegal pilgrims, he said: “There is a plan to construct a wall around the holy sites. It has been passed by the Cabinet last Ramadan.”
The Cabinet has approved three projects: A comprehensive development plan for Makkah, the public transport plan for the city and the development plan for holy sites.
Prince Khaled, who is chairman of the Central Hajj Committee, said the entry of illegals through the main entrances of the holy sites would be prevented. “If we can prevent undocumented pilgrims coming through Arafat we can reduce their number to a great extent.”
He emphasized the possibility of promoting low-cost Hajj services to reduce illegal pilgrims.
According to the General Statistics Department, 3.16 million performed Hajj this year. “But the latest report from Jamrat said that on the first day of Eid more than 3.65 million performed the stoning ritual. So about 4 million pilgrims have performed Hajj this year,” he added.
“Unfortunately, there were a large number of undocumented pilgrims who created many problems and the majority of them are non-Saudis,” he said and estimated the number of undocumented pilgrims at 1.4 million.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST

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