Embassy statement: Saudis rejects ‘poor Haj arrangements’ claim

Published: September 13, 2017
SHARES
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PHOTO: AFP/File

PHOTO: AFP/File

Saudi Arabia has denied the Pakistan’s Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Yousuf’s claim that Saudi companies were to blame for poor arrangements faced by the pilgrims from Pakistan.

A statement was issued by the Saudi embassy wherein the minister’s allegations were described as ‘baseless’.

It read that Yousuf’s claim that the Saudi companies were unable to provide facilities to pilgrims was false.

Saudis ‘apologised for mismanagement’ during Hajj 2017

“Pakistan has struck deals with Saudi companies on its own and all facilities are being provided in accordance with the agreement between the Pakistani government and Saudi companies,” the statement read.

“The onus is on the Pakistani authorities to guarantee accommodation and facilities to pilgrims who have come from the country.”

The statement also read that visas for Hajj and Umrah would not be issued without the verification of the agreement.

On Monday, the federal government had claimed that Saudi Arabia had apologised over ‘their mismanagement’ at Mina and assured that next year all-out efforts will be made to provide best possible facilities to pilgrims from Pakistan.

Video shows angry pilgrims in heated exchange with religious minister over inadequate facilities

A large number of people who performed Hajj under the government scheme had flooded the official Facebook page and Whatsapp group of the ministry with complaints regarding mismanagement in Saudi Arabia.

They complained that due to the unavailability of transport, and tents at Mina, they had to suffer a lot. A group of angry pilgrims also had a heated exchange with the federal minister for religious affairs over his department’s failure to provide adequate facilities.

On September 7, a video was uploaded on the ministry’s official Whatsapp group, that showed Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Federal Minister Sardar Muhammad Yousaf being cornered by an angry group of pilgrims.

They criticised the government for failing to provide adequate facilities to them during Haj and did not let the minister get a word in, despite his best efforts to answer questions.

The pilgrims complained about the lack of transport and even female pilgrims were not provided with transport despite them specifically asking for it. Many pilgrims also complained about the lack of medical facilities available in case someone got hurt or fell while performing Haj.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Shah S
    Sep 13, 2017 - 8:33PM

    There is no reason to the blame on Saudis for mismanagement and poor arrangements of Pakistani Hajj Pilgrims as one does make all arrangements of travel & living including food, medical and transportation when leaving for abroad; This is Hajj and Hundred of Thousands of Pakistanis perform Hajj… and organizers and travel agents skim, steal and cheat to make more money; Saudis obligation is to only provide Visas and take Money for it; Rest is all your own responsibility; Recommend

  • Muhammad Mushtaque
    Sep 14, 2017 - 1:16AM

    Sir what about Air conditioning issue in SA pak bound flight?? Was this also part of contract with pak government?? It must be raised to saudi authorities …..Recommend

  • DR FARAZ
    Sep 14, 2017 - 5:05PM

    To be honest our minister is and was not Lying. He is absolutely right Hujja got 250 rials for Mina. It was a compensation to all 19 Maktab people who were placed in far areas distant from train facilities. How could Saudia Embassy justify absentia of Maktab 97 Moalim “Mia Jan” even at YOUM ARFAAT/MINA…. or even display atleast 5 feed back forms/reviews of his team management. I wonder why we rely solely on foregin reports and never bother to dig truth at own. How can anyone ignore, immense contribution of Hajj volunteer/Pakistan Hajj camp timeless and tireless support to all even with awkward complains and suggestions.
    Personal experienceRecommend

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