ISLAMABAD: The Ambassador of Pakistan to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and member Hajj Advisory Committee Khan Hasham Bin Saddique visited Makkah on Saturday to oversee the Hajj arrangements for Hajj 1438H.
The ambassador was received at the Main Control Office Azizia by Director Hajj and other officers and officials of the Hajj mission. Consul General of Pakistan Shehryar Akbar Khan also accompanied the ambassador, says a press release received here today from Jeddah.
The ambassador was first taken to Mina for orientation of the location of Pakistani Makatab and prominent landmarks. Director (Admin & Transport) briefed the Excellency about the location of Pakistani Makatab and the location of the pickets during the Mashaa’ir days.
Later on Khan Hasham visited Muzdalfa and Arafat where he was shown the train stations and the location of train makatab. Director Hajj explained that this year the hujjaj (pilgrims) from Pakistan will be provided fireproof tents, filtered water, three times meal, 10cm thick mattresses and toilets for special persons in Mina and Arafat.
The member Hajj Advisory Committee was then given a detailed briefing in the Main Control Office by Director Hajj in the presence of Consul General, Director (F&C), Director (A&T) and Director Monitoring.
The briefing discussed the total number of hujjaj in Makkah and Medina, hospital OPD statistics, causality rate, number of buildings hired, caterers with hujjaj distribution and transport deputed for salawat.
It was explained that due to the increase in quota and the re-entry of Iran into the market the rates are much higher than last year.
However, the buildings hired by OPAP are at much lower rate than other countries. The ambassador suggested that MoRA should go for the long term contracting and a proposal should be presented to the government for approval in this regard.
The ambassador later visited building No 111 for getting first-hand information about the pilgrims living there. The hujjaj in the building seemed satisfied and shared with the ambassador that in the start the caterer had some issues with the Pakistani roti (bread) but now it had improved a lot. The Ambassador checked the roti himself and seemed satisfied with it.
He later on visited building 122 and had lunch with the hujjaj and expressed satisfaction on the quality of food being served.
The hujjaj also appreciated the efforts of the Pakistan government for providing all the necessary amenities at a very reasonable price unlike any other country.
The hujjaj were full of appreciation for the accommodation, transport and food being served within their buildings. The Ambassador distributed haji gift pack among the hujjaj of building 122 that included a blanket, prayer mat, muzdalfa mat and an inflatable pillow for Mashaa’ir. The Ambassador was told that these gift packs are from the owner of the building and all 107,526 government hujjaj will be presented given these gifts. The Ambassador appreciated the efforts of OPAP.