ISLAMABAD: Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yusaf, Thursday, March 9, briefed Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on arrangements for Hajj 2017 at the Prime Minister’s House.
The PM directed the Ministry to further improve the arrangements for Hajj 2017 by taking initiatives for ensuring better facilities at the minimum possible cost.
Sardar Muhammad Yusaf told that was a remarkable improvement in arrangements of Hajj in the last three years in line with the vision of the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister appreciated the Ministry and its team led by Sardar Yusaf for their dedication and hard work to facilitate Hujjaj.
The PM said that there is always room for further improvement and directed that the Ministry should strive to make Hajj arrangements more improved , comfortable, better and less costly.
He said the visible improvement in facilities provided to Hujjaj in past three years has been acknowledged by all segments of society.
During the briefing, the minister claimed that there had been a remarkable improvement in arrangements for Hajj 2017 during the last three years. “Applications for the government Hajj Scheme increased from 86,919 in 2013 to 280,617 in 2016,” said the minister. He added that more than 300% increase in applications in the last three years was a testament of public confidence in the government.
The Prime Minister was informed that the annual Hajj agreement for the year 2017 has been signed with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the reduction in Hajj quota in 2013 due to expansion of Haram Sharif has been restored from 143,368 to179,210.
He said the process of hiring of accommodation, transport, catering and other allied facilities have been initiated.
The Saudi Hajj Ministry has also been requested to enhance the country’s quota by at least 15,000 on the basis of the current population of Pakistan, the Prime Minister was briefed.
The PM directed that special attention must be given to making arrangements at the airports, provision of three daily meals in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalfa, and general facilitation for Hujjaj in lodging and travelling.
He said the government would provide all possible support to the Ministry for facilitating the guests of Allah in performing Hajj comfortably and securely.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs must discharge its responsibilities with full devotion not only as an official duty but also a religious obligation of the highest order, the Prime Minister said.
It was also approved during the meeting that applicants who have performed Hajj in the last seven (07) years will not be eligible to apply for Hajj 2017 under Government Scheme while Hajj-e-Badal will be allowed only through Private Hajj scheme.
The meeting was also attended by Fawad Hassan Fawad, SPM, Khalid Masood Chaudhary, Secretary, Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony and senior officials.