As a part of her ongoing visit to KSA, during which the bilateral Haj agreement for 2024 was signed between India and KSA on 7 January, 2024, Union minister for women and child development and minority affairs Smriti Zubin Irani, accompanied by minister of state for external affairs and parliamentary affairs V Muraleedharan, led a delegation of senior officials from ministry of minority affairs and ministry of external affairs on a historic visit to Madinah, one of the holiest cities in Islam, on Monday, January 8.
The delegation visited the perimeter of the Prophet’s Mosque (Al Masjid Al Nabwi) in the Markazia area of Madinah. This was followed by a visit to the mountain of Uhud and a visit to the Quba Mosque. Quba Mosque is the first Mosque of Islam while Uhud Mountain is the final resting place of a number early Islamic martyrs.
The delegation interacted with Indian volunteers who provide dedicated and selfless service to Indian Haj pilgrims, including during Haj 2023. The delegation also interacted with Umrah pilgrims from India.
“The visit shall help provide a first-hand insight into the arrangements required to be made for ensuring a comfortable Haj 2024 for the Indian pilgrims. The Government of India is deeply committed to assist in providing facilities and services to Indian Muslims who undertake the Haj pilgrimage, thereby providing them with a comfortable and fulfilling experience,” an official press release stated.
“India and KSA share warm and cordial ties and Government of India deeply appreciates the special gesture of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, KSA in facilitating this visit of the Indian delegation to Madinah. It would go a long way in providing better services to the Haj pilgrims,” it added.