Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pakistan has launched a short message service (SMS) service to help pilgrims save from fictitious hajj group organising companies (HGOs).

According to an official of the ministry, an intending pilgrim, desiring to perform the sacred religious ceremony through Haj Group Organiser (HGO) should send the first four digits of his HGO’s enrollment number from his mobile phone to 8331 to check its authenticity.

The intending pilgrim would promptly receive a reply, containing details about the enrollment status of the HGO, name of its chief executive, its allotted quota and address.

The quota status of any HGO should be confirmed from ministry’s relevant department by contacting on phone no 051-9207519; 051-9205212.

The ministry will not responsible for any fraud with the intending pilgrim, who inked an agreement with any HGO or travel agent without checking its enrollment status of allotted Hajj quota, the sources added.

The intending pilgrims should make a private agreement with only approved HGOs/ tour operators after confirming its hajj quota. The ministry has made mandatory for all HGOs to deposit five percent of their each private hajj package to ministry as performance guarantee.