ISLAMABAD: The training of intending pilgrims selected for Hajj-2008 will be started across the country from October 14. The training Programmes will be conducted in collaboration with local administration at Tehsil and district level.
Several Programmes will also be telecast and air on television and radio to aware the intending pilgrims about the rituals of Hajj. Up to 165,000 intending pilgrims under both government and private schemes will be airlifted to Saudi Arabia for Hajj this year.
According to officials sources in the Ministry of Religious Affairs, 149,323 applications were received under the government scheme which were about 13,000 less in number as compared to last year. As many as 17,890 applicants who were rejected consecutively two years in the ballot, have been declared successful.
This year too, machine readable passport will be issued to the pilgrims. The first Hajj flight will operate on November 2 and 164,647 pilgrims will be airlifted to Saudi Arabia by PIA and Saudi Airlines during 31 days. About 30,000 pilgrims will directly be airlifted to Madina from Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore airport.-SANA