A seven member Saudi Arabian delegation toured the world's largest mosque during an official visit to Pakistan last week.
A seven member Saudi Arabian delegation toured the world's largest mosque during an official visit to Pakistan last week. Pakistan's military leader, General Zia-ul Haq, announced in February that his country was returning to strict Islamic law for the first time in more than thirty years. The high level Saudi delegation also discussed plans for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca of Pakistani Moslems.
SYNOPSIS: The King Faisal Mosque, named after the Saudi ruler, is under construction in Islamabad. The Saudis have given Pakistan well over four hundred million U.S. dollars in aid so far this year and the Faisal Mosque is just one of the Saudi-financed projects. The delegation was on a religious mission part of it was spent observing progress on the mosque and part discussing the annual pilgrimage to Mecca required of every Moslem who can afford to make the trip. The holy cities of Mecca and Medina make Saudi Arabia the centre of the Islamic Faith.
President Zia received the delegation at his official residence in Rawalpindi during their five day visit to Pakistan. The Pakistan President held private talks with the leader of the Saudi group - Minister of Pilgrimage Affairs and Islamic Endowments, Abdul Wahhab Abdul Wasie. General Zia is a devout Moslem. His decree earlier this year that his country was returning to Islamic law caused protests from pakistan's minority Shia Moslem sect -- and from the country's Christians who are obliged, by law, to follow strict Islamic rules, such as refraining from alcohol.