Image: AFP

Talha Mehmood, Religious Affairs Minister, while addressing the National Assembly on Tuesday said that there will be no VIP Hajj Facilities for the members of parliament (MPs).

Mehmood said, “The facilities that will be provided to the common Hujjaj will also be provided to the MPs. I have clearly said that no one will perform Hajj for free, neither ministers nor parliamentarians under the VIP protocol.” He added that they will have to stay in same hotels or tents like all the other hujjaj.

Mahmood also said that he has firmly delivered the message to his team that whosoever will be found engaged in stealing in Saudi Arabia, their hands will be cut off.

He added, “Zamzam water was free before and it is still free but the government of Saudi Arabia is charging money for its packaging.”He further said that, “Our official Hajj quota was 60% and private Hajj quota was 40%”, however, only 179,210 Hajj applications were received this year, out of which 72,800 applications were for the government Hajj scheme. “All of them have been accepted and the applicants are being sent for Hajj.”

He also informed the Parliament that they had to surrender the left over quota to the Saudi government.“If we don’t surrender, we will have to pay for accommodation, food, transport and other expenses of 8,000 pilgrims, ” said Mehmood.

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