ISLAMABAD - Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yusuf has said that the Ministry has introduced Electronic Haj Monitoring System (EHMS) to facilitate intending Haj pilgrims during the current season.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday he said, “The system would help intending Hajj pilgrims to register their complaints online regarding any difficulties and the staff deputed in the holy land and as well in Pakistan would try to address grievances within no time.”He said intending pilgrims can make free calls round the clock on number 08007700 in Pakistan while on 088116622 in Saudi Arabia to register their complaints.
The staff deputed in the Electronic Monitoring System will have the capability to understand all the regional languages. “The government will provide all possible facilities to the intending Haj pilgrims this year and all efforts have been made to make the 2013 Haj an exemplary one,” he added.
All information such as missing of luggage, death and illness of any intending pilgrims can be registered in the system, he added. The system would also check the performance of Hujjaj, medical mission and private tour operators. The Minister said the ministry has also introduced SMS service to inform intending pilgrims about the day to day activity, he added. Sardar Yusuf said around 143,000 people would perform Haj under government scheme while around 86,000 would perform under private tour scheme.
The Minister said the government has hired around 122 buildings for intending Hajj pilgrims. He said the ministry has also arranged comprehensive training for intending pilgrims. He said Hajj flight would start on September 9 from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta simultaneously and continue till October 9. Pilgrims can see his flight schedule by just submitting application number or his Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC). He said PIA will operate a total of 214 Haj flights to Jeddah and Makkah. The PIA will operate Haj flights from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan and Sialkot.
In all, PIA will transport more than 70,000 intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia through 160 pre Haj flights. PIA will operate same number of flights for post Haj operation.
This year due to ongoing construction for extending facilities at Khana e Kaaba, the Saudi government has reduced Haj quota by 20 per cent. The ministry has issued orders to the airlines to strictly adhere to departure and arrival schedule and on failure heavy fine would be imposed on the airline. The minister said around 1000 Khadamul Hujaj from Pakistan and 900 from Saudi Arabia have been selected to extend assistance to intending pilgrims.
Answering a question, he said, 11 member committee of parliamentarians would also monitor the whole Hajj operation and will submit comprehensive report after the ending of Haj. He said the ministry would initiate action against the tour operators if they fail to provide agreed facilities to intending pilgrims.