Govt to ensure all faclities for Hujjaj: Yousuf

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousuf Wednesday said the Ministry has formed a committee to ensure full facilities to Hujjaj including residence, commuting and food.

Talking a private TV channel, he said some 2.7 million applications have been received by the Ministry.

He said the government has extended the date for applications and more applications will be received soon. He said the Ministry would ensure transparency in the selection criteria.

He said the Ministry will monitor the activities of pilgrims according to agreement, and the actions would be taken against the violators.

The minister said 50 percent Hujjaj will land in Madina Munawara and 50 percent in Jeddah. He said Pakistani Hujjaj mostly reside in Azizya because it is near to Mina and Arfat.

The minister said government has requested for provision of Pakistani food to Hujjaj in Saudia Arabia. He said Pakistani, living in Saudi Arabia, would be engaged to facilitate the pilgrims about places and others procedures during Hajj.

Sardar Yousuf said according to Hajj policy 2014, anyone who has  performed Hajj during the last five years will not be eligible for pilgrimage this year except for those people who will be going as `Mehram’ or the ones performing `Hajj-e-Badal’.

To a question, he said Pakistan International Airline (PIA) will provide comfortable travelling to Hujjaj as it provided last year, adding PIA would also provide food during travelling.