734 companies providing services to Pakistani Haj pilgrims

PESHAWAR: The Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs was informed on Wednesday the 734 companies were providing services to the intending Pakistani Haj pilgrims this year.
The committee, which met here at the Parliament House with Senator Hamdullah in the chair, was told that 19 new companies were registered this year while the total number of tour operators was 3,627.
The committee directed the Ministry of Religious Affairs to provide details regarding complaints against the tour operators and the action taken against them.

The committee members were of the view the effective measures should be taken to prevent the tour operators from exploiting the Hajj occasion. Elaborate facilities should be provided, enabling pilgrims to perform Haj conveniently, they added.
The committee was told that 161 complaints were received against tour operators and 132 of them were addressed.
Secretary Religious Afdfair Shahid Khan said 123 buildings had been acquired for the Hajj operation in Saudi Arabia. Some 30,000 intending pilgrims had arrived Makkah and Madina so far, he added.
He said each pilgrim was 490 Riyal for Qurbani (sacrifice) and the amount was deposited in the Islamic Development Bank. The committee’s members said the information about the Qurbani should conveyed to each pilgrim.
Senator Hamdullah said that among 2027 private tour operators, only a single tour operator was favoured and permitted in Balochistan.
He said that the Quetta Haji camp lacked facilities and pilgrims were facing a lot of difficulties. There were no arrangements for making ablution, stressing need for making solid measures to improve situation.
He said section criteria should be made more effective for selecting tour operators in order to provide best facilities to Hujjaj.
Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said concrete measures were being taken to further improve facilities and ensure convenience for pilgrims.
Minister of State Pir Amirul Hasanat said services of six accounts companies had been hired to look into the pervious record including enrollment and of private tour operators. - APP

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