No political propaganda during Haj: Saudi Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia will not allow any political propaganda during this year's Haj and those trying to violate the pilgrimage's sanctity will be arrested, the crown prince has said apparently referring to attempts to use Islam's holiest site to highlight the situation in strife-torn Syria and Yemen.

PTI| Updated: Sep 19, 2015, 15:49 PM IST

Jeddah: Saudi Arabia will not allow any political propaganda during this year's Haj and those trying to violate the pilgrimage's sanctity will be arrested, the crown prince has said apparently referring to attempts to use Islam's holiest site to highlight the situation in strife-torn Syria and Yemen.

"These activities did not care about the religion, its sanctity and people's lives. Security systems in various sectors are fully prepared to deal with whoever tries to pose a threat to the lives of Haj pilgrims," prince Mohammed bin Naif said.

He was apparently referring to possible attempts by some groups to use the Haj pilgrimage for highlighting the situation in Syria and Yemen.

He said the Kingdom has tackled terrorist activities with determination and resolve in the past.

The prince made the statement in Mecca yesterday, a day after carrying out an extensive review of security and other arrangements for Haj, where more than two million Muslims are expected to take part in the annual pilgrimage.

Referring to the crane tragedy which claimed more than 100 lives, the prince said the incident would not affect the Haj.

"All preparations have been made to ensure safety and security throughout the season," he was quoted as saying by Arab News. He said ensuring pilgrims' well-being is of supreme priority to the Kingdom.

The prince said the Haj pilgrims arriving from strife-torn Yemen were being provided all facilities.

"But if there is any hurdle to their Haj it is due to the acts of the Houthis and supporters of Ali Abdullah Saleh who have destabilised Yemen and jeopardised the safety of Yemeni people," he added.

He said the people of Yemen understand this very well and they also know the Saudi policy towards them.

Referring to the last two operations in Riyadh meant to thwart terrorist designs, he said the security agencies are vigilant and they are closely monitoring all terrorist organisations.

About Eid Al-Adha coinciding with the Saudi National Day this year, the prince said this is a unique opportunity to remind citizens about the foundations of the Islamic country and its services to Islam and Muslims.

"This is why Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has made extra efforts to provide best services and comprehensive care to the pilgrims," he said.