ISLAMABAD (APP): The unsung heroes of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony deserve accolades for accomplishing a remarkable and enchanting feat in successfully organizing the Hajj arrangements, despite facing personal challenges, time limitations, and inadequate support from the local Pak Hajj mission.

Under the guidance of Director Moavineen Sajjad Haider Yaldram, a team of over 1,800 Seasonal Duty Staff (SDS), Moavineen diligently fulfilled their responsibilities in different departments such as transportation, accommodation, lost and found, wheelchair assistance, help centre, and monitoring at the main control office in Makkah and Madinah. Additionally, the ministry ensured that the pilgrims received extensive medical support throughout their journey.

Over 50 accomplished Pakistani women, with diverse professional backgrounds, diligently supported and served Pakistani hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia as part of the contingent of Moavineen. Their efforts showcased the increasing empowerment and recognition of Pakistani women in significant roles, contributing to a stronger representation of the nation in Hajj affairs.

A committed team of more than 137 doctors and paramedics provided quality medical services to pilgrims.

The Ministry staff collaborated closely with Saudi authorities and hotel establishments to allocate accommodations that effectively meet the diverse requirements and preferences of the pilgrims.

Their unwavering commitment, supported by personnel from departments like the Pakistan Army, police, and high-ranking government officers, played a crucial role in providing comfort to pilgrims.

Serving as Moavineen and Haram guides, they navigated the challenges of scorching heat, efficiently managing transportation, meals, and accommodation while offering comprehensive support to Pakistani pilgrims.

Through their endeavours, pilgrims were able to embark on a profoundly significant pilgrimage journey. An impressive 63 per cent of the pilgrims experienced the advantages of the streamlined shuttle train service, while the remaining 37 per cent were transported to Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat using buses.

This year, they efficiently handled transportation services for Pakistani pilgrims using a fleet of 360 buses. These buses provided uninterrupted and direct transportation to and from Masjid Al-Haram, allowing Hajj pilgrims to completely focus on fulfilling their sacred obligations.

Despite facing problems, Yaldram demonstrated exemplary leadership by leading the team from the front.

The monitoring team conducted comprehensive inspections of hotels in Madinah and Makkah, ensuring the quality of facilities for both government and private scheme pilgrims. They actively interacted with pilgrims, addressing concerns, resolving issues, and ensuring their satisfaction.

In addition, the Ministry staff takes great care to provide essential services to maintain hygiene standards and cater to the needs of the pilgrims during their pilgrimage.

Furthermore, the Ministry was dedicated to providing comprehensive pre and post-Hajj facilities to ensure the well-being of the pilgrims, both in a spiritual and practical sense.

Earlier, in Pakistan, the Ministry organized orientation programs, training sessions, seminars, and workshops to guide the pilgrims through the rituals and practices of Hajj, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and support for a meaningful pilgrimage experience.

Around 1.8 million pilgrims, including 1.6 million from abroad, attended this year’s Hajj in and around the Saudi holy city of Makkah, according to Saudi official figures.

Over 179,000 Pakistani pilgrims undertook the Hajj pilgrimage, with 81,230 opting for the government scheme and 82,000 choosing the private Hajj scheme.

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