Riyadh: Slamming the Iran’s move to delay signing the safety agreement, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) alleged that Iran attempting to politicize the Hajj and misusing the pilgrimage to harm Saudi Arabia.
According to a report published in Saudi Gazette, Secretary General of GCC, Abdullatif Al-Zayani said in a statement that the Gulf states denounced the move by Iran to politicize Haj through putting hurdles to block a final agreement with Saudi Arabia in facilitating the arrival of Iranian pilgrims to perform the pilgrimage during the upcoming season.
The Saudi Press Agency reported that “The GCC states emphasize that the Iranian officials should realize that Haj is a sacred religious duty for all Muslims and it should not be linked to political stances or differences between countries under any circumstances,” he said while urging Iran to cooperate with the concerned Saudi authorities to finalize arrangements so that pilgrims from the country can fulfill the obligatory religious duty.
Pakistan also joins the chorus and lauded the efforts made by Saudi Arabia in offering the best services and facilities for Haj and Umrah pilgrims.
Sheikh Taher Mahmoud Al-Ashrafi, chairman of the Pakistan Scholars Council categorically rejected demands raised by the Iranian Haj delegation for signing a bilateral agreement for this year’s Haj.
In a statement released on Friday Al-Ashrafi said that “The performance of Haj rituals is a religious duty of Muslims and making arrangements for the performance of Haj in the holy land is a sovereign right of Saudi Arabia. And hence, the Islamic Ummah will reject any interference in this matter,”