JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN
Friday 21 September 2012
Last Update 21 September 2012 3:20 am
The first Haj flight from Pakistan with 329 pilgrims was received at King Abdulaziz International Airport on Wednesday by Syed Khursheed Shah, federal minister for religious affairs in Pakistan; Mohammed Naeem Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador; and Abdul Salik Khan, consul general. The federal minister briefed journalists about the Haj arrangements the Pakistani government and Haj ministry had made for pilgrims this year. He said they had booked 164 buildings in Makkah to accommodate the pilgrims and made arrangements for them to use the rail transportation this year.
“We have also tried to solve the toilet problem in Mina, and the Saudi authorities informed us they had arranged 10,000 new toilet facilities. We also arranged buses,” said Shah, explaining that they hired 350 buses, of which 150 had been reserved to facilitate the shuttle service for pilgrims. He added this year they had arranged three buses instead of one and made almost 70 bus stops in Aziziah area to provide continuous shuttle services.
The government also equipped the buses with radio frequency services to get an idea of the usage of bus services and obtain data to help estimate how many buses they would need next year. “We also provide food packets on the arrival of the pilgrims and three meals in Mina throughout Haj. We will provide food and water on their travel from Makkah to Madinah without any additional charges,” said Shah.
Arab News is not responsible for the view points, opinions and actions expressed by online commenters. Individual posts do not reflect Arab News' points of view or opinion, and abusive content will be removed