Good news for Hajj Pilgrims

Good news for Hajj Pilgrims

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Ministry of Religious Affairs on Thursday said it is working on introducing short and long Hajj packages as part of a government program for the annual pilgrimage next year.

More than 81,000 Pakistani pilgrims have made the pilgrimage under the government program this year, while the rest, out of a total quota of 179,210, have used private tour operators. Pakistani pilgrims who go on Hajj pilgrimage under the government program must stay in the Kingdom for 40 days.

“Efforts are underway to introduce both short and long Hajj packages in the government scheme,” Pakistan’s interim religious affairs minister, Aneeq Ahmed, said during a debriefing session for Hajj 2023 on Thursday, according to a statement from his office. According to a statement from his office, Aneeq Ahmed, Pakistan's Acting Minister of Religious Affairs is underway to incorporate short and long Hajj packages into the government curriculum that is underway.

"An agreement has been reached to rapidly complete accommodation, food and transport facilities in Saudi Arabia." Ahmed said the government is committed to ensuring "first-class facilities" for Pakistani pilgrims and that next year's Hajj activities will focus on the pilgrims' education and fitness. “We will work hard to instill confidence in the training, organization and holistic fitness of the pilgrims,” he added. According to the statement, the minister is expected to make a trip to Saudi Arabia "soon" to finalize arrangements and provide facilities for the pilgrims.

In 2019, Saudi Arabia launched the Makkah Route initiative in Pakistan and 4 other countries, simplifying visa, customs and health requirements for Hajj pilgrims at departure airports. them, allowing them to save considerable time before departure and upon arrival in the Kingdom.