KATHMANDU, July 18: Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa has bid farewell to the people heading for the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina of Saudi Arabia. He saw off 156 Haj pilgrims at Tribhuvan International Airport today. They comprise the first batch of the pilgrims leaving for Mecca and Medina for the pilgrimage.
On the occasion, Home Minister Thapa said the Nepali Muslim citizens are being sent to Mecca and Medina as secular nation Nepal respected all faiths. He said the Nepali Haj pilgrims will pray for the country's prosperity in Mecca and Medina as well as spread the bond of brotherhood through the projection of the country's identity.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Minister for Urban Development Mohammad Ishtiyak Rai had also reached the airport to send off the Nepali Haj pilgrims. President of Nepal Haj Committee, Shamsher Miya said Nepali Muslims are sent on the Haj pilgrimage since the last eight years on government management. According to him, around 1,260 people are going on the pilgrimage this year.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims from across the world visit Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia every year for the Haj pilgrimage.