Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri has claimed that Pakistan’s Hajj package was the lowest priced among the neighboring countries.
He made these remarks while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday.
“We were compelled to increase the hHajjexpenses due to a surge in expenses incurred in Saudi Arabia and the unstable economic conditions – but, our packages are still the lowest among regional countries including India, Bangladesh, Iran, and Malaysia,” said the minister.
Earlier, on Tuesday, an association of private tour operators had claimed to provide a cheaper Hajj package than the government.
Responding to the reports, the minister termed the claims to be ‘a scam’ and warned masses against falling prey to such fraudsters.
Minister for Religious Affairs urged aspirant pilgrims to only contact the registered tour operators.
He mentioned that the government had proposed a ‘free-sky policy’ which was turned down by the Saudi authorities.
“We tried to introduce a ‘free-sky policy’, but the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation (GACA) did not agree … after taking all airlines in the loop, we decided to increase the airfare by only Rs. 17,000,” he maintained.
The minister added that all the information regarding the government’s Hajj policy is available on the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ website.