SRINAGAR: Farooq Khan, advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir governor, on Sunday received the first batch of Haj pilgrims who arrived here from Saudi Arabia.
He also reviewed arrangements made for the return of the pilgrims to their respective destinations from the airport due to some restrictions imposed in the state following abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Khan, accompanied by other state government officials, including Inspector General of Police (Kashmir zone) Swayam Prakash Pani, was seen at the tarmac of the airport after the first Air India flight carrying 300 pilgrims arrived here.
He congratulated the pilgrims on performing the Haj and enquired about their well being.
During his interaction, Khan was informed by the pilgrims that they prayed for the lasting peace and prosperity of the state. They thanked him for ensuring elaborate arrangements so that they could perform their religious duties without facing any hassles.
Khan later took stock of the arrangements made by the civil administration and also directed Deputy Commissioner, Budgam, Tariq Ganai to ensure that every pilgrim is taken to his or her home safely.
Every year thousands of Muslims travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to perform Haj, considered the fifth pillar of Islam, in the last Islamic calender month of Dhu al-Hijjah. Haj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims and those who are financially capable should perform it at least once in their lifetime. (AGENCIES)