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ISLAMABAD: Pilgrims performing Hajj 2022 have been warned to desist from carrying prohibited drugs to the Holy Land as a severe penalty awaits any pilgrim found with drugs, official of Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony said on Sunday.

“The Saudi law on drugs was very strict and officials were being encouraged to educate pilgrims,” he said urging the intending pilgrims to be law-abiding while in the Holy Land.

“We advise pilgrims not to be involved in drug smuggling because we all know that this leads to the death sentence,” he said. “You should be law-abiding and exhibit good conduct while in the holy land so as not to dent the image of the country,” he said.

He also warned pilgrims against carrying bags or envelopes on behalf of people. He appealed to the pilgrims’ trainers to enlighten the pilgrims on the dangers inherent to carrying drugs, trafficking contraband drugs to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He said many pilgrims were ignorant and need to be informed about Hajj rituals and the code of conduct in the holy land.

The Ministry had made adequate arrangement to ensure that they performed the pilgrimage without difficulty. He urged the intending pilgrims to exhibit the highest sense of responsibility and perform the pilgrimage in accordance with Islamic teaching.

Meanwhile, an official of the Anti Narcotic Force also warned intending pilgrims against smuggling drugs to Saudi Arabia, saying that Saudi Arabian authorities would not condone such act, which attracted capital punishment for such act.

The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) was already receiving complaints on its helpline 1415 round the clock.

It said that the sharing of information regarding drug peddling, trafficking or any other narcotics-related activity by the general public was highly appreciated.

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