As a result of poor management on the part of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, several pilgrims who had been sponsored by the government to perform the Hajj were unable to board their planes.
The Religious Ministry did not provide the pilgrims with timely information regarding the flights. Website updates and text messages sent to pilgrims’ cell phones will keep them apprised of flight information as it becomes available for the Hajj.
According to several accounts, 29 pilgrims were supposed to fly out of Lahore to make their way to Madina, however, as a result of the ministry’s incompetence, the pilgrims were unable to board their planes. According to additional sources, the remaining passengers were transferred to the second flight that took place today.
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On the other side, today marks the formal beginning of Hajj operations for Pakistan International Airlines, also known as PIA. On the very first day of the operation, there were a total of 1,080 pilgrims aboard four flights that left for Madina.
The Islamabad International Airport hosted a launch event ceremony for the Hajj operation. At the event were both the Minister for Religious Affairs, Mufti Abdul Shakoor and the Saudi Ambassador, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki.
In addition, the Mecca Method Facility was opened by the Saudi Ambassador. This facility will make it possible for Saudi immigrants to transit via Pakistan.