Pressed Saudi to treat Indian Muslims fairly, says PM Modi

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 14, 2016 08:29 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting with Shia Cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad and other members of a delegation in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he raised key issues of everyday concern for Muslims who work and travel to Saudi Arabia, including for the Haj pilgrimage, during his recent visit to that country.

Modi told a delegation of Muslims that Saudi Arabia has assured to review the number of pilgrims who can undertake Haj, ensure speedy dispatch of bodies of Indian nationals in case of their death, review the number of Indians jailed in that country and release offenders charged with petty crimes.

Nearly a million Indian Muslims apply for Haj pilgrimage and there is a constant demand to increase this quota since the number of pilgrims is far greater than that allowed.

The delegation included MJ Khan, an agricultural expert, author Shahid Siddiqui, Shia cleric Kalbe Jawad and West Asia expert Kamar Agha.

“We urged the Prime Minister to focus on properly implementing existing policies for minority welfare rather than merely adding new ones. He said Muslims should robustly benefit from the government’s skill development programme. This should be especially useful, he said, for greater employability in the Gulf nations,” Siddiqui said.

The delegation raised issues such as the return of Wakf properties freed from government encroachments to the community. The members also pressed the PM to maintain a minority institution status for Aligarh University.

A statement from the PMO said the members of the delegation congratulated the PM on his recent successful visit to Saudi Arabia.

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