Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday inaugurated the Hajj Programme-2023 (1444 Hijri), urging pilgrims to pray that Bangladesh and its people are protected from any man-made or natural disaster.
“I would like to request you to pray so that any disaster or crisis –either man-made or natural— can’t damage Bangladesh and the people of Bangladesh,” she said.
The premier opened the programme at the Hajj camp in the capital’s Ashkona and later she exchanged greetings with the hajj pilgrims.
Hasina said man-made disaster alongside natural calamity happens in Bangladesh as the people are killed here by resorting to arson violence and setting transport vehicles on fire.
She asked the pilgrims to pray so that the development and the current progress of Bangladesh would continue in future.
The first hajj flight is scheduled to depart Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for Saudi Arabia at 2:45am on Saturday.
This year, a total of 122,221 pilgrims from Bangladesh are going to perform the holy hajj. But the number of hajj pilgrims from Bangladesh was 57,585 last year due to Covid-19 restriction.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, 127,198 pilgrims from Bangladesh performed hajj in 2019.
The hajj is expected to be held on June 27, subject to the sighting of the moon.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Md. Faridul Haque Khan presided over the inaugural function.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali, Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Essa Yussef Essa Al Dulaihan, local lawmaker Habib Hasan (Dhaka-18), Religious Affairs Secretary Kazi Enamul Hassan and president of Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) Shahadat Hossain Taslim also spoke on the occasion.