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Saudi to withdraw additional Umrah tax on Pakistani pilgrims

GDN Online Desk

Islamabad: Saudi Arabia has agreed to withdraw an additional Umrah fee of SAR2,000 for Pakistanis following a request made by Prime Minister Imran Khan during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Gulf News reported.

The information was shared by secretary of religious affairs Mohammad Mushtaq with the senate committee that met to discuss the problems faced by Pakistanis while performing Haj and Umrah.

The chairman of senate standing committee on religious affairs, senator Maulana Abdul Ghafour Haideri, said he had received several complaints about the “discriminatory tax” of SAR2,000 by Saudi government on Pakistani pilgrims performing more than one Umrah within two years.

Mushtaq explained that the rationale behind the Saudi move was to discourage repeated Umrah by some people and that the same tax had been levied on all pilgrims. “However this new tax of SAR2,000 on people performing more than one Umrah within two years has been abolished for the people of Egypt and Turkey after requests were made by governments of these countries to the Saudi government,” Mushtaq said.

The matter had been first taken up with the Saudi authorities in Islamabad and later “the prime minister during his visit to Saudi kingdom took up the matter with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and he has agreed to abolish the tax,” the secretary said, adding that the Saudi government would notify the waiver soon.

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