The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pakistan has introduced a short message service (SMS) for helping the pilgrims to save themselves from fictitious Hajj group organizing companies (HGOs).
As per an official of the ministry, an intending pilgrim who is willing to perform the holy ritual via the Hajj Group Organisers (HGO) should send the first four digits of HGO’s enrolment numbers from mobile phone to 8331 to check and verify the HGO’s authenticity.
The intending pilgrim would receive the reply promptly, including the details regarding the enrolment status of the Hajj Group Organiser, the name of the group’s chief executive, the allotted quota and the address.
The quota status of any Hajj Group Organiser should be confirmed by the relevant department of the ministry by contacting on the following phone numbers 051-9207519; 051-9205212.
The ministry would not be responsible for any kind of fraudulent activity with the intending pilgrim, who made a deal with any HGO or travelling agent without verifying its enrolment status of the allotted Hajj quota, as per the sources.
The intending pilgrims should only ink deals with the approved HGOs or tour operators only after verifying their Hajj quota. The ministry has made it a must for all the HGOs to deposit five per cent of their private Hajj package amount to the ministry of Religious Affairs as a performance guarantee.
The guarantee amount would be returned after a satisfactory and positive feedback from the private Hajj pilgrims regarding the services and facilities provided by the HGO.