Islamabad, 3 July, 2023 (GNP): The Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Talha Mehmood stated on Sunday that the government would collect all Hajj expenses in US dollars from next year.
The federal minister also congratulated the 160,000 fortunate Pakistani pilgrims on performing Hajj this year.
He appreciated the efforts of the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salaman and said that the pilgrims were fully satisfied with the arrangements as no unforeseen incident had been reported in Jumarat during Hajj 2023.
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While addressing a post-Hajj press conference, the religious minister announced that the Hajj expenses would be collected in US dollars and not in Pakistani currency from the year 2024. Also, he had brought the Hajj quota for next year to over 179,000.
The minister said that the Saudi government made excellent arrangements on the occasion of Hajj and he himself visited hotels of Pakistani Hajis. The Pakistani mission provided maximum assistance to Pakistanis during Hajj.
Moreover, he said that the Saudi government offered him to perform Hajj as a guest of the state, but he chose to go there as a common man.
Also, Talha had discussed the difficulties faced by Hajj pilgrims with the Saudi minister, who guaranteed him of resolving them in future.
Furthermore, the Senator said that he did not let anyone to perform Hajj free-of-cost and this rule will be followed in the future as well.
“I will not allow anyone to perform ‘free’ Hajj. I paid all my expenses from my pocket during the Hajj, and no one was sent to do free Hajj,” he added.
While answering a query, the minister said that the President’s office does not come under his ministry, that is the reason he had no knowledge how many people performed Hajj with President Arif Alvi.