Islamabad: The First PIA Hajj flight PK-1901 from (Quetta) Pakistan, carrying 205 pilgrims reached Abdul Aziz International Airport Jeddah today.
The pilgrims were received by the Ambassador of Pakistan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Muhammad Naeem Khan and Consul General of Pakistan Mr. Abdul Salik Khan, senior Saudi officials, senior officials of the Consulate General of Pakistan, PIA and the Hajj Mission.
Welcoming the pilgrims the Pakistan’s Ambassador to KSA, H.E. Muhammad Naeem Khan said that Pakistan Hajj Mission has made all efforts to make their stay in Saudi Arabia more comfortable.
The Ambassador said that the pilgrims accommodations in Makkah and Madinah have already been arranged and that offices and dispensaries in Makkah and Madinah have also been set up for the Hujjaj that will be operational round the clock. He said that number of Khuddam-ul-Hujjaj has been doubled this year to facilitate the pilgrims.
H.E. Muhammad Naeem Khan appreciated the facilities provided by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Saudi leadership for the pilgrims. He urged the pilgrims to concentrate on their prayers during their stay in Saudi Arabia and pray for the security and prosperity of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Ummah.
Later on talking to the media, the Ambassador stated that a total of 180,000 hujjaj will arrive from Pakistan this year – a figure which is the second largest in the world after Indonesia.
The Ambassador said that the pilgrims who would be arriving over the next one month would be carried mostly by two Pakistani airlines (Pakistan International Airlines and Shaheen Air) and two Saudi carriers (Saudia and NAS). However PIA would be carrying the major share of about 130,000.
He said that a toll-free help line/call centre in Saudi Arabia  has been set up to immediately redress the complaints of the hujjaj, beside distribution of more than 1000 mobile SIMS amongst the welfare staff to enable free group talk.
He said that the other salient features included, making it compulsory for female pilgrims to wear an abaya bearing the Pakistani flag, strict checking of luggage to see if it was of the right size and marked with proper identification.
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