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Govt to provide SIMs, abayas to Haj pilgrims

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Aneeq Ahmed on Tuesday said that the government would provide free of cost mobile SIMs with roaming internet packages, female abayas having a Pakistani flag on the back and 13kg suitcases to pilgrims performing Haj next year.

Talking to a news channel, the minister said that it was a historic step that the caretaker government has declared a significant reduction of Rs100,000 in the government Haj expenses, adding, that a further 50,000 will also be reduced in the coming few days after which hujjaj will get back their money in their accounts.

He said a new mobile application has been designed to assist Haj pilgrims, which will provide navigation support and enable constant communication between pilgrims and relevant officials.

Initially available in English and Urdu, the application will later incorporate various regional languages, he said, adding that the app will also provide digital training programs to every Haj pilgrim.

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The minister also disclosed a project the Ministry of Haj and Ministry of Education have planned to convert city mosques into schools to enrol out of school children where the imams of mosques will play a leading role.

Aneeq Ahmed said that mosques will play their role as community centres in every city, adding that the imams will resolve community issues as well after offering prayers.

He said that the Ministry of Haj is taking all four provinces on board and enhancing the connectivity of mosques.

While describing another project, the minister for religious affairs said that his ministry with the collaboration of health ministry has another project in which medical clinics will also be part of the mosques.

Lady health workers and other essential staff of doctors will also be provided in all mosques where they will facilitate citizens the areas, he added.

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