KHANEWAL    -   Director Haj Multan Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah has said that around 14,000 Pakistani pilgrims through 40 flights are going to KSA to perform Haj from Multan.

Talking to a delegation of senior journalists, he added that arrangements had been finalised to see off the pilgrims with high protocol. He said that among 14,000 pilgrims, about 10,000 were going under government Haj scheme and 4,000 under private Haj scheme through private Haj tour operator.

Imtiaz Ali Shah further added that pilgrims would be provided best facilities for residence, food and treatment throughout the journey. He said many buildings had been rented in Azizya area of Makkah and other areas of the city for the pilgrims and also in Madinah Sharif.

He informed that from Multan, first flight of Air Blue carrying 180 pilgrims would fly for Madinah Sharif. In Haj 2019 flight schedule, 40 flights are scheduled for Madina Sharif and Jeddah; 13 flights of PIA will carry 3196 pilgrims; 18 flights of Saudi Airlines will carry 4647 pilgrims; and nine flights of Air Blue will carry 1404 pilgrims. He added that in Haji camp Multan, air conditioned marquee had been established to offer all the facilities under one roof to the pilgrims through one window operation. In this marquee bank counters, vaccination counter, help desk, Haj department vigilant staff will be available round the clock till the Haj flight operation concludes.

The Haj director said that areas where these pilgrims will be residing have been divided into different sectors with their respective in charges and deputy in charges who will accommodate Haj pilgrims at the earliest in any situation. “This year, the facilities have been upgraded as compared to the last year,” he said, and added that a special call centre has also been set up for the complaints from the pilgrims. 10 Haji camps have become functional across the country. It said that the pilgrims will be provided passport, ticket, locket and stickers before Haj flight. Monitoring cell established to facilitate pilgrims. The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has also established a monitoring cell to facilitate Pakistani pilgrims under Private Haj Scheme. Syed Imtiaz said that Saudi Arabia is to begin a pilot project from Islamabad Airport under Road to Makkah programme to facilitate Pakistani pilgrims first time in Pakistan. It said that the Saudi immigration staff will complete the immigration process at Islamabad airport, if it is succeeded than in next year it will be started from more station.

The meeting was attended by finance secretary Citizen Forum Khanewal M Naseem, assistant director Haj Ajmal Farooq Bajwa, focal person Haj operation from Multan Rana Asif, master trainer Haj Rana Shabbir and Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah. The delegation of journalists was led by Anjum Bashir.