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Pak MPs urge govt to restore Haj quota

world Updated: Jun 20, 2009 22:58 IST

Cutting across the political divide, Pakistani parliamentarians on Saturday urged the government to restore their Haj quota, the Online news agency said.

The government on Wednesday abolished the Haj quota of all parliamentarians, including the president and the prime minister, in order to "provide equal chance" to every aspirant.

Pakistani Senate chairman Jan Muhammad Jamali on Saturday called for the restoration of the Haj quota, saying that there was a common consensus among the political parties on the issue.

He said the federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi should talk to the prime minister to ensure the restoration of Haj quota.

Earlier, while announcing a new Haj policy for 2009, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said the government and private tour operators will equally share the Haj quota this year.

He said the government has requested Saudi Arabia for additional quota of 10,000 pilgrims. The cabinet also decided not to issue new license to any fresh tour operator.

Around 160,000 Pakistani Muslims will perform the holy journey to Makkah. The government and private operators will each send 80,000 pilgrims, said Kaira.