In a recent development, Pakistani nationals embarking on the holy pilgrimage of Hajj in 2024 will be provided with complimentary mobile SIM cards equipped with roaming internet packages.
Caretaker Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Aneeq Ahmed revealed this significant development during an exclusive interview with a private news channel on Tuesday.
Reduced Hajj cost
The caretaker minister highlighted the government's commitment to easing the financial burden on pilgrims, noting a substantial reduction of approximately Rs100,000 in the overall cost of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Describing this move as a "historic step," he further pledged an additional Rs50,000 reduction, with the refunded amount directly credited to the accounts of the pilgrims.
In an effort to enhance the experience for female pilgrims, Minister Aneeq Ahmed disclosed that special abayas adorned with the Pakistani flag on the backside would be provided. Additionally, every pilgrim will receive a 13kg suitcase as part of the facilitation efforts.
Innovative mobile application for pilgrims
The caretaker minister unveiled a new mobile application designed to assist Hajj pilgrims throughout their journey. Initially available in English and Urdu, the app aims to provide navigation support and enable constant communication between pilgrims and relevant officials.
Furthermore, the application will offer digital training programs to empower every pilgrim, with plans to incorporate various regional languages in the future.
Mosques transformed into schools
In an ambitious collaboration between the Hajj ministry and the education ministry, a transformative project has been initiated to convert city mosques into schools.
This initiative aims to enroll out-of-school children, with mosque imams playing a pivotal role in the educational process. Minister Aneeq Ahmed emphasized that mosques would not only serve as places of worship but also as community centers, with imams actively involved in resolving local issues post-prayer sessions.
Health and connectivity initiatives
Highlighting the government's commitment to holistic community development, the minister shared details of a project in collaboration with the health ministry.
Under this initiative, medical clinics will be integrated into mosques, ensuring that healthcare facilities are easily accessible to the community. Minister Aneeq Ahmed reiterated the ministry's dedication to fostering connectivity across all four provinces, emphasizing the vital role of mosques as central hubs for community welfare.
As the nation gears up for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage, these comprehensive initiatives underscore the government's commitment to facilitating a seamless and enriched spiritual journey for Pakistani pilgrims.