ISLAMABAD: Director General of Haj Dr Sajid Yousaf in Jeddah said on Sunday that this year 179,210 Pakistani pilgrims will perform Haj.
The government scheme Haj includes 107,526 Hujaj, while the rest would perform Haj through private Haj operators.
In order to provide greater opportunities to the people who have not performed this sacred duty, the Government of Pakistan has announced that the person who has performed Haj in the last seven years will not be eligible to Haj-2017. He said the Haj mission has made best possible arrangements with maximum facilitation of Hujaj.
Previously, the Hajis used to get delayed at the airport due to the procedures of luggage clearance.This year, the haj mission has made special arrangements in collaboration with Maktab Al Wokala, for express clearance of the hujjaj luggage at the Jeddah and Madina airports so that they reach their destination in time. In order to provide better transportation services, companies having modern buses have been hired for the Hujaj to make their journey safe and comfortable. In Madina, all the accommodation hired is in Markazia, which makes the Masjid-e-Nabawi within walking distance for all the Hujaj.
In Makkah the accommodation has been hired in Aziziya and Btha Quraish, within the rates of accommodation approved by the government.The transport will be available at the buildings, round the clock, to facilitate the Hujaj to go to Haram. The Haj mission has hired a number of kitchens in Makkah and Madina for provision of three time meals daily to the Hujaj. The meals will be available to the Hujaj in their building as well as at Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah.The staff of the kitchen will bring the food to the buildings where proper dining areas have been arranged.
This year special efforts have been made to provide Pakistani food to Hujaj and the kitchen owners have been advised to hire Pakistani chefs for this purpose. — APPMeanwhile, the vaccination of intending Haj pilgrims will begin at the Islamabad Haji Camp today (Monday).
The vaccines against flu, polio and meningitis have already been supplied to Haji camps across the country in sufficient quantity.According to a relevant official, the intending Haj pilgrims should get themselves vaccinated at least 10 days before leaving for Saudi Arabia.
The Haj flight operations will begin on July 24 and continue until August 26.The intending Haj pilgrims can check their flight schedule by visiting the religious affairs ministry’s official website.
Meanwhile, the religious affairs ministry has launched a short message service to help prevent private Haj scheme pilgrims from fraud.Any intending pilgrim can send the first four digits of his or her Haj group organiser’s enrolment number from his mobile phone to 8331 for verification.
The ministry asked pilgrims under private schemes to verify their credentials under their agreement with the respective Haj group organisers at the website www.hajjinfo.org and get any discrepancy corrected before departure. They should also carry a copy of the agreement to Saudi Arabia.