SMS service launched to prevent Haj fraud

The Nation

ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has launched a Short Message Service (SMS) service 8331 to help saving them from fictitious Haj Group Organising Companies (HGOs).
According to an official, 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 be responsible for any fraud with the intending pilgrim, who inked agreement with any HGO or travel agent without checking its enrollment status of allotted Haj quota, the sources added.
The intending pilgrims should ink private agreement with only approved HGOs/ tour operators after confirming its Haj quota.
The Ministry has made mandatory for all HGOs to deposit five per cent of their each private Haj package to Ministry as performance guarantee.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has established a help line for facilitation and information of the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia as well as Pakistan.
The intending pilgrims of both government as well as private scheme could register their complaints in Pakistan on 042-111-725425, the Ministry has dedicated a number 800-116 6622 for registering complaints in Saudi Arabia, said an official of the Ministry.
He said that the help line is working round the clock to facilitate intending pilgrims.
For queries, Haj Information Centre, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Islamabad could be contacted on 051-9205696, Directorate of Haj, Islamabad is also available for queries at 051 9247574-75, 051-9216980, 051-9216981, 051-9216982. Further information could be obtained by clicking

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