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Umrah age-limit, TikTok ban removed, govt Senate victory

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SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 20, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: Nov 20, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Here are some of the developments we will be following today, Saturday, November 20, 2021. 

Saudi Arabia government has set an age limit for overseas pilgrims visiting the kingdom to perform Umrah. According to Saudi Arabia Ministry of Umrah and Hajj, only pilgrims aged 18 years to 50 years will be issued permits to perform Umrah. The ministry also said that visitors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with vaccines recognised by Saudi Arabia to secure a visa. 

In a significant economic development, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has increased interest rate by an incredible 150 basis points to 8.75% in an attempt to control rising inflation. The central bank, in its policy statement said that there was “demand-side pressures on inflation” and “the current account deficits in September and October have been larger than anticipated.” 

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority has lifted Friday the ban on TikTok. “The authority restored the services of TikTok on assurances by the platform to control immoral and indecent content,” the PTA tweeted. It also said that TikTok has given the assurance of blocking the users who continuously upload “unlawful content”. TikTok was first banned in Pakistan in October 2020. The ban was lifted 10 days later. Then in March 2021, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) had also imposed a ban on TikTok, which was lifted in April. In June, the Sindh High Court ordered the PTA to block the app. This time, the ban was lifted three days later. In July, the PTA blocked TikTok for the fourth time for its failure to take down “inappropriate content”. 

A day after the government passed a record 33 bills in the joint parliamentary session, it secured another victory in the Senate. Despite the opposition being in the majority, the government secured enough votes to pass four bills in the upper house amid loud protest from opposition. The bills passed in the house include the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Bill, Higher Education Commission (HEC) (Amendment) Bill and HEC Second Amendment Bill, Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill. 

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One Comment

  1. Ahmad Saeed Siddiqi  November 23, 2021 3:44 am/ Reply

    Restrictions on FuLLy Vaccinated Senior Citizens above 50 years to perform Umrah and Ziarat of Holy Mosques has hurt Millions of Muslims above 50 years who have been anxiously waiting since last 2 years. Saudi Authorities are humbly requested to give a sympathetic
    consideration as due to financial constraints mostly people perform Hajj or Umrah after saving money throughout Life time near or after retirement . At least Senior Citizens who are fully Vaccinated and Healthy and Fit enough to perform the rituals be allowed to perform UMRAH an HAJJ.

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