Senator Talha announces significant relief for pilgrims

ISLAMABAD  -  Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Sena­tor Muhammad Talha Mah­mood on Thursday released the post-Hajj statistics, high­lighting the successful efforts to provide enhanced facilities to the pilgrims despite expan­sion projects and logistical challenges at the holy sites.

He, in a press conference held here in the ministry, praised the accomplishments in cater­ing to the needs of the pilgrims during the annual Islamic pil­grimage. According to the data presented, 78% of the honored pilgrims were accommodated in close proximity to the holy city of Madina, ensuring ease of access to the religious sites. Furthermore, 63% of the pil­grims were provided with the convenience of Mashair Train to travel to Mina, while 47% enjoyed their stay in old Mina.

Senator Talha, expressing his satisfaction at successfully meet­ing these objectives, confirmed that all government-sponsored pilgrims received a refund of 55,000 rupees towards the cost of the animal sacrifice per­formed during the Hajj rituals, as promised earlier. Moreover, due to effective cost-saving mea­sures, the pilgrims were set to receive a partial refund in their Hajj expenses, a fact lauded by the minister. “As per the financial reimbursements, all govt-spon­sored pilgrims would receive an additional refund of Rs. 97,000 per person. Those who faced dif­ficulties in securing accommoda­tions in Madina would be refund­ed Rs.111,000 and those who lacked the opportunity to use Mashair Train to be reimbursed Rs.118,000 rupees. Similarly, pil­grims who had to stay far from central locations in Madina and were unable to access train ser­vice would receive Rs.132,000 as compensation,” he disclosed.

He also highlighted the com­mitment to the welfare of the pilgrims, with a total of approxi­mately Rs.16.5 billion being al­located for further reimburse­ments to the honored pilgrims under the government’s Hajj package. In a promising develop­ment, Senator Talha announced that next week, the transfer of funds to the respective bank ac­counts of the pilgrims would begin, ensuring a smooth and ef­ficient refund process. The min­ister, highlighting achievements of the ministry, acknowledged the extraordinary performance by Secretary Dr Aftab Akbar Durrani and Director General Hajj Abdul Wahab Somroo, who made pilgrimage a success de­spite challenging circumstances.

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