The overall unprecedented change in world affairs has left the whole world stunned. COVID-19 has disrupted prayers patterns worldwide as well. The religious obligation of Hajj is hanging in the balance, waiting for the government of Saudi Arabia to decide on how Hajj will be performed under the threat of the global pandemic.

Pakistan is greatly affected by this. Here people spend their lives accumulating money for Hajj and then wait for their names to appear in the draw list. The whole process is time-consuming and requires an immense amount of patience. Those who were selected this year are now being asked to take their money back - an unjustified act on the part of the government. Instead of this, the government should ask those selected if they can be accommodated for Hajj in 2021. They might defer their Hajj to next year and the government will save huge amounts of money and effort by not repeating this process.

IFTIKHAR MIRZA,

Islamabad.