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PM Gilani decides to show religious minister the door

21 November, 2010

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has decided to show the minister for religious affairs the door for defective Haj arrangements, corruption and giving irresponsible statement about the Saudi government, sources said.

They said the suspension of Secretary Religious Affairs Agha Qazilbash and Joint Secretary Haj is also under consideration. The premier, the sources said, has also sought a written explanation from Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi for giving irresponsible statement. —INP

Asim Yasin adds: Gilani, taking a serious notice, has ordered an immediate inquiry into inadequate arrangements made by the Haj Directorate for Pakistani Hajis and has immediately recalled the Director General Haj to Pakistan. The inquiry report is awaited.

The prime minister said that shifting of responsibility and blame game were unacceptable and further ordered that the Foreign Ministry should in future coordinate all arrangements at the government-to-government level for the Haj as had been decided by the cabinet.

The prime minister expressed profound appreciation for the excellent arrangements that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had always made for the pilgrims. The prime minister said that the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, has always taken keen personal interest in the welfare of the pilgrims. “Under his direction, the facilities for performance for Haj had been vastly improved,” he said.

The prime minister said this was a reflection of the high importance that the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, the government and the brotherly people of Saudi Arabia attached to the Islamic Ummah and to the promotion of Islamic cause.

He said that he himself had been most impressed by the arrangements when he had himself performed Ghusle Kaaba and Haj-e-Akber some years ago. While President Asif Ali Zardari had also directed the FIA to investigate the reports of messing up the accommodation arrangements made for Hajis in Makkah by the Ministry of Religious Affairs as well as complaints of non provision of basic facilities to the Hajis.

Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that the president, taking note of the reports of huge mismanagement in hiring accommodation and the complaints of non-provision of basic facilities to Hajis, has directed that the report of the FIA investigations into these complaints be submitted without delay. He said that a number of Hajis had sent their complaints direct from Makkah to the Presidency.


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