The Ministry of Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony has taken a much-needed initiative. It has started a SMS service which aims to protect Hajj pilgrims from fraudulent, unauthorized and bogus Hajj tour operators.
You can now find out a tour operator’s details by sending a SMS to 8331.
A ministry spokeperson further elaborated that the person who is to performing the Hajj pilgrimage through a Haj Group Organizer (HGO), can send the first four digits of the HGO’s enrollment to 8331.
The SMS response will contain all the details regarding the enrollment status of HGO. Moreover, it will also enclose the name of CEO, allotted quota and address. Through this method, the Ministry will be able to confirm its authenticity.
To confirm the quota status of HGO, people can contact the Ministry and the relevant departments on the following numbers:
Furthermore, the ministry has requested that pilgrims don’t sign any contracts or agreements before confirming their enrollment status. If there are any complaints, the ministry also has an electronic monitoring system in place to resolve issues during Hajj days.
The spokesperson also said that if a person has performed Hajj during the last seven years, he or she will not be eligible for Hajj 2017. This will allow more people to perform the religious activity.
Director General of Haj, Dr Sajid Yousaf in Jeddah recently announced that this year 179,210 Pakistani pilgrims will perform Hajj whereas the government Hajj scheme caters to only 107,526 pilgrims. Rest of the people will perform Hajj through private Haj operators.
This most certainly is a step towards the right direction by the Ministry of Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony, and we hope the Hajaj will face less hurdles this time around.