ISLAMABAD: (APP) Pakistan's Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Muhammad Yousaf and Saudi Haj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Saleh bin TaherBentin in a meeting in Jeddah decided that the number of pilgrims from Pakistan visiting Saudi Arabia to perform Haj will rise to 179,210 in 2017.
Arab News, quoting a press release, reported that a formal agreement to this effect will be signed later. Religious Affairs Secretary Khalid Masood Chaudhry, Pakistan Ambassador Manzoorul Haq and Haj Director General Syed Sajid Yousafani also attended the meeting.
The Pakistani minister visted Saudi Arabia with the aim of finalizing the Haj arrangements and other issues relating to Haj 2017.
He held talks with top Saudi officials.The minister appreciated the last year's Haj arrangements. "We congratulate King Salman for the successful Haj operations in 2016." He also thanked the Saudi Hajj and Umrah minister for his support in increasing the quota for Pakistani pilgrims .
During talks with Pakistan's delegation, the Saudi minister said that Pakistani Hajj office played an important role in Hajj preparations with their Saudi counterparts and "we are proud of them."
He also congratulated Pakistan's Hajj authorities for their efforts in ensuring the success of Hajj operations and providing excellent services to pilgrims.