Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Mufti Abdul Shakoor on Monday said that intending pilgrims were the ambassadors of Pakistan so they should improve the image of the country during their stay in Saudi Arabia.
He was addressing the training session of intending pilgrims here at Haji camp, Sargodha road. Director Hajj Rehan Abbas Khokhar was also present on the occasion. The minister said that all out measures had been adopted to facilitate the intending pilgrims at maximum level during Hajj. He said that committees and a complaint cell had been constituted in Saudi Arabia to resolve the issues related to residence, medication, transport and any others for intending pilgrims there.
The minister said that he would personally monitor all the arrangements in Saudi Arabia. He said the government had provided a special subsidy of Rs 150,000 to each pilgrim. He said that this year, the Pakistan government had taken special initiative and Saudi staff would provide immigration clearance facility at Islamabad airport and the pilgrims after landing at Jeddah airport would directly leave towards their residences.
He asked the intending pilgrims, they were the luckiest persons that had been selected for Hajj this year by the grace of Allah, adding that they would be the guests in Saudi Arabia and they must keep in mind the due respect of the Holy land. The minister said that residences for pilgrims had been hired at lower cost in Makkah and Madina to facilitate them. He said that although prices of everything had gone up in the country but Pakistan government had made a cut in Hajj expenditures.