Sardar Yousaf categorically denies demanding/receiving Iranian Hajj quota

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ISLAMABAD, Jul 21 (APP):Minister of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf Thursday categorically denied receiving Iranian Hajj quota from Saudi Arabia saying the ministry has no intentions to demand Iranian Hajj quota.

Briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony chaired by MNA Hafiz Abdul Karim, here he said the Saudi government has not yet decided about Iranian quota issue. It is possible that Iranian Hujjaj may go to perform Hajj this year.

The hajj quota granted voluntarily granted by Saudi Arabia to Pakistan would be welcomed.

He said the no foreigner could go for performing Hajj from Pakistani territory. Strict action would be taken against the Hajj Group Organisers (HGO) on violation of the agreement.
Sardar Yousaf said the intending hujjaj are being provided extensive training this year.Hujjaj would be provided a special tracking system to know exact location of the pilgrims during Hajj. A device would be fixed in the wrist watches, bracelets or rings of Hujjaj (pilgrims) to help monitoring team to keep their track.

He said the tracking system with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) and satellite system would ensure timely help of a pilgrim in trouble and trace the missing ones.
The system would also be attached with mobile phones of the pilgrims, which would be helpful in ascertaining their location, he added.

The victims of crane accident have not yet been compensated by the Saudi government.The government has paid double compensation to the heirs of government hajj scheme of Mina tragedy. Ministry did not compensate the Aqama holders, who were injured or died in accident during Hajj 2015.

Ms Shagufta Jumani said the women pilgrims should be trained about offering collective Namaz (Bajamaat).
Ali Muhammad Khan said the performance of the ministry should be thoroughly checked.The meetings of the committee should be held regularly. Committee members should also be taken on board in important decision making process of the ministry.

Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar
Muhammad Yousaf told National Assembly Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Government Hajj package has been reduced from Rs 321,000 to Rs 261,000 and Rs 271,000.

A total of 71,684 lucky persons would perform Hajj under
Government Scheme.

Last year the ministry had returned over Rs 29,000 to each
Hujjaj. This year the remaining amount would also be returned to the pilgrims.

Hujjaj would be provided three time meal this year, he said
adding that. Hajj Advisory Committee has been mandated to take notice of any issue being confronted by pilgrims during Hajj 2016.

This year 52 percent pilgrims of government scheme would
directly land to Madina Munawwara. A total of 139 buildings have been hired for providing residential facilities to government scheme hujjaj.

He said strict monitoring of 742 Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs) would be ensured.The violators of agreement with private pilgrims would be punished.

MNA Ali Muhammad said the quota of HGOs should be decreased upto 30 percent.

The committee directed the ministry to decrease the exorbitant air cooler charges of 150 riyals.

The committee meeting was attended by MNAs Shahida Akhtar Ali, Shagufta Jumani, Ali Muhammad Khan, Sahibzada Muhammad Yaqoob, Malik Abdul Ghaffar Dogar, Lal Chand Malhi, Ramesh Kumar, Bhagwan Das, Moulvi Agha Muhammad, Pir Bakhsh Junejo, Syed Amir Ali Shah Jamot and Syed Imran Ahmed Shah and officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony attended the meeting.

The committee unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the Indian atrocities in Indian Held Kashmir against unarmed innocent Kashmiris who are demanding their just right to self determination. The committee also condemned bomb blast at Masjid e Nabvi.