Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi today chaired a meeting on Hajj policy at Prime Minister’s office.
Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, Minister for Religious Affairs, Secretary Religious Affairs division, Pakistan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and senior officials were present during the meeting.
The Prime Minister was given a detailed briefing on Hajj operations and efforts being made by the Ministry to improve the system. It was informed that the present government, during its tenure, has accorded special attention towards better facilitation of the Hujjaj performing their religious duty. The confidence of the people over the fairness and transparency of the system is clearly reflected through the number of 338,696 applications received in 2017 as compared to 86,919 applications in 2013.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the overall improvements made during the last four years in providing quality and affordable accommodation, better catering and transport facilities to the Hujjaj.
The Prime Minister directed the Ministry to immediately convene the Policy Formulation Committee constituted under the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan for early finalization of policy options for Hajj 2018 and its approval from the Cabinet after which the process of inviting applications should be started as soon as possible so as to complete the balloting process in-time and ensure timely arrangements and training of the Hujjaj.
The Prime Minister also directed that special considerations should be given to the applicants over the age of 75 years and to those who apply for three consecutive years but are not selected through the balloting process. Matters pertaining to the security of Zaireen visiting Iran Iraq were also came under discussion during the meeting.