ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid said on Wednesday pilgrims had appreciated and expressed satisfaction over the arrangements for Hajj-2014.
Addressing a press conference along with Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf here, Pervaiz Rashid said less than one percent complaints regarding Hajj arrangements were received by the Religious Affairs Ministry this year as compared to last year.
Pervaiz Rashid said selection of pilgrims was done purely on merit on the principle of first come first served basis and there was absolutely no interference from the government.
He said the rent of accommodations was brought down from 3,800 Saudi Riyals last year to 3,000 Saudi Riyals this year. Around Rs 27,000 was returned to the pilgrims before leaving for Hajj.
The minister said on the special instructions of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Shairf, the government spent Rs 82.27 million to provide free of charge meals to the pilgrims.
He said since the pilgrims were satisfied over the arrangements, they prayed for the government and that was why the predictions of some people about the “sacrifice” of government before Eidul Azha did not materialize.
The minister said making satisfactory Hajj arrangements was a very difficult task keeping in view past experience, but Sardar Muhammad Yousuf rose to the occasion as per the expectations of government.
The government, he added, would provide the best possible facilities to pilgrims during next five years also.
He said the government had also set-up an advisory committee to monitor the situation regarding Hajj arrangements on ground.
The committee comprised Senator Maula Bakhsh Chandio and Shagufta Jumani of Pakistan People’s Party, and Muhammad Akram Ansari and Hafiz Abdul Kareem of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, he added.