Indian Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar with Ambassador Ahmad Javed in Mina – AN photo.
Jeddah, MINA – Nearly 200,000 Indians are performing Hajj this year. Of that number, 170,000 have come from India through the Hajj Committee of India (HCI).
The remaining Indian pilgrims have undertaken the journey from within Saudi Arabia.This year, the Government of India’s Hajj Goodwill Delegation is being led by Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar.
He arrived in Mina on Wednesday afternoon.
“I am deeply grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sending me on his Hajj goodwill mission,” Arab News quoted M.J. Akbar as writing on his official Twitter account.
Excellent arrangements have been made for all pilgrims and the Indian diplomatic mission staff has gone the extra mile to ensure that all comfort and facilities are provided to the pilgrims.
Indian Ambassador Ahmad Javed told journalists on Wednesday that the movement of Indian pilgrims from Makkah to Mina went according to plan.
“Our pilgrims were provided with air-conditioned buses for their travel from Makkah to Mina,” he said.
Once in Mina, the pilgrims were taken to their respective tents where they engaged in prayers and supplications.
The ambassador praised the Saudi authorities for the excellent arrangements.
The Indian minister called on Saudi Hajj Minister Dr. Muhammad Saleh Binten in Makkah in a formal visit on Tuesday.
The selection of M.J. Akbar, a high-profile minister in the Narendra Modi government, has sent strong signals of the deep attachment that India has for its relationship with Saudi Arabia.
The Indian mission, led by Ambassador Ahmad Javed, includes Consul General Noor Rahman Sheikh and Hajj Consul Shahid Alam. (T/Rs5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)