Delegates from a number of Moslem countries gathered in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on Monday (17 March) to discuss arrangements for this year's Haj - the annual Moslem pilgrimage to Mecca.
GV EXTERIOR, National Assembly Hall, Islamabad
SV INTERIOR, Portrait hanging in hall
SV Delegates seated
SV Pakistani President Zia Ul-Har speaking in Urdu
GV AND SV Delegates listening (5 shots)
SV General Zia continues speech
GV Delegates listening (3 shots)
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Background: Delegates from a number of Moslem countries gathered in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on Monday (17 March) to discuss arrangements for this year's Haj - the annual Moslem pilgrimage to Mecca.
SYNOPSIS: Saudi Arabia along with several other Moslem countries were represented at the conference, inaugurated by Pakistan's President General Zia-Ul Haq. Various points of view about new arrangements for the Haj were presented at the meeting and President Zia announced the formation of a Haj foundation in Pakistan. More than a million Moslems from throughout the world completed the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in October last year, to answer the call of God. Mecca was the birthplace of the prophet, Muhammed, who began the tradition of the Haj by making the pilgrimage himself in the year before his death.
Last year's Haj ended in tragedy for 150 pilgrims killed aboard a Pakistani jet which crashed near Jeddah in Saudi Arabia while returning from Mecca. In another incident during last year's pilgrimage, Moslem extremists occupied the Grand Mosque in Mecca, holding many pilgrims captive until security forces ended the siege. The extremists were later executed.