India has requested Saudi Arabia to increase its annual Haj quota in 2019. Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi made this request to Saudi Arabia Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten in Jeddah on Thursday. Both the leaders also signed the bilateral annual Haj 2019 agreement.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Naqvi said, the Saudi Arabia Government has always played an active and effective role to ensure safety and better facilities to Indian Haj pilgrims.
He said, it is a part of strengthened bilateral relations of the two countries.
The Minister said that India-Saudi Arabia relations have achieved newer heights under the leadership and guidance of Saudi Arabia King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mr Naqvi said, both the countries share strong cultural, historical, economic and political relations.
The Minister said for the first time, Modi Government lifted the ban on women going to Haj without Mehram (male companion) and after it about 1300 Indian Muslim women went on Haj this year.
Mr Naqvi said for the first time after Independence, a record number of Muslims from India performed Haj this year and too without any subsidy.
The Minister said that the Haj Committee of India has received more than 2 lakh 47 thousand applications yet for Haj 2019 and it includes about 47 per cent women.