SMS service launched to prevent Hajj scheme scam

New buses to serve Pak pilgrims in Saudi Arabia: Minister

Islamabad—The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has launched a short message service (SMS) service 8331 to help preventing private Hajj scheme pilgrims from any fraud or swindling. According to official sources, an intending pilgrim, desiring to perform the sacred religious ceremony through Hajj Group Organiser (HGO) should send his HGO’s enrolment number from his mobile phone to 8331.
He will instantly receive a message, the pilgrims will receive the details about the enrolment status of the HGO, name of its chief executive, its allotted quota and address of the office. The SMS service would help preventing pilgrims from any fraud or swindling, besides saving them from factious companies.
Furthermore, quota status of HGO should be confirmed from ministry’s relevant department by contacting the Ministry on phone no 051-9207519; 051-9205212. The ministry will not responsible for any fraud with the intending pilgrim, who inked agreement with any HOG or travel agent without checking its enrolment status of allotted Hajj quota, he added.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf Thursday said the government would provide better facilities to pilgrims as it introduces new Hajj buses in Saudi Arabia airports to facilitate Pakistani pilgrims during the Hajj 2016.
While talking to a PTV programme, the Minister highlighted that Hajj pilgrims would landed in Madina and Jeddah airport by direct flights and new 2013 model busses were arranged for the Pakistani pilgrims this year. The upcoming Hajj would also utilise the Electronic Monitoring system to alleviate grievances of Hujjaj, he added.
“The best facilities of residence, medical care and transports would be provided to the Pakistani pilgrims in Saudi Arabia,” the Minister added. He said a tracking system, was also being launched, which would provide complete information about the pilgrims during the Hajj, including their location and movement.
Sardar Yousaf said the number of Hajj applications under Government Scheme has consistently been on the rise. Yousuf said ministry officials always welcome suggestions/recommendations from the stakeholder for improvements in the Hajj policy.—APP

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