Religious affairs minister denies cabinet meeting walkout reports

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PESHAWAR: Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri on Friday on Friday rejected media reports of him walking out of the federal cabinet meeting due to the government’s decision of withdrawing subsidies on Hajj.

Talking to the media, he said, “I am part of the federal cabinet, how can I get annoyed because cabinet’s decisions are always joint decisions.”

“There is no substance in the news stories about me walking out of the cabinet meeting. I did not leave the meeting but I stood up to hear a telephone call, he added.

He said that the religious affairs ministry had proposed subsidy on Hajj but Prime Minister Imran Khan and other members of the cabinet did not agree to it. “Riyasat-e-Medina refers to giving the state model which makes the life of people prosperous. Following that model does not mean that people should be allowed to perform Hajj for free,” he said, adding that Hajj becomes expensive every year and whoever has money should perform Hajj. “Instead of providing subsidies on Hajj, it is good if the money is spent on hospitals and on poverty alleviation,” he added.

“I will perform Hajj on my own expenses,” he said, adding that over 184,000 pilgrims from Pakistan will perform Hajj this year.