MULTAN: Hajj Operation began from Multan International Airport (MIAP) with 326 intending pilgrims on board at PIA which departed for Madina here on Tuesday (23 May, 2023).
Senator, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani along with Airport Manager, Syed Ghazanfar Raza, PIA Chief Information officer, Saqlain Gardezi, Director Hajj Rehan Abbas Khokhar, PIA Distt Manager, Ghazanfar Akhtar, PIA Station Manager and Nadeem Murtaza saw off the pilgrims.
52 flights of PIA, Saudi Airline and Air Blue will carry 12,000 pilgrims from Multan during pre Hajj operations this year which will conclude on June 18.
The first PIA flight no 715 was Boeing 777 that left for Medina on Tuesday (23rd of May, 2023).
A ceremony was held at MIAP to see off the pilgrims of the first flight attended among others by Hajj Directorate, CAA, PIA, ASF officials.
Addressing the ceremony, Senator Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani congratulated the pilgrims saying that they were lucky to be chosen for the sacred Islamic duty.
He said that only those who were called had the chance to go for Hajj every year adding that they were the ambassadors of the country and the region on the Holy Land,
Gilani urged the intending pilgrims to project the country’s positive image by means of their comportment.
The Senator informed that this year 11,500 pilgrims would travel from Multan with an expenditure of over Rs11 lakh for each pilgrim.
He pointed out that the government would bear the cost of sacrificial animals (Rs 55,000) for each pilgrim.
He asked the intending pilgrims to pray for the progress and prosperity of the country.
Gilani paid rich tribute to the former federal minister for Religious Affairs Maulana Abdul Shakoor for his meritorious services to the pilgrims last year and requested pilgrims to remember the deceased in their special prayers.
He reminisced that the first time he was invited by ex PM, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for opening of the airport and it was second time when he (Gilani) had come to it to say goodbye to them.
The Senator told the audience that as PM he had first of all made the runway for MIAP so that big aircraft could land here easily so that they don’t have to travel to Karachi to catch their flight for Haj like in the past.
Airport Manager, Syed Ghazanfar Raza felicitated the pilgrims and said that CAA had made excellent arrangements including tying of Ihram, ablution and for offering prayers at the airport not only as a duty but as a blessing for it.
He requested them to pray for the country’s welfare.
Director Hajj, Rehan Abbas Khokhar highlighted the facilities being facilitated for the pilgrims at the Hajj Complex adding that it was built when Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani was speaker of the National Assembly.
He mentioned Gilani’s contributions as ex PM for the country and the region.
He said that the Airport here was a gift for South Punjab as direct Hajj flights and world known airlines started its operations from Multan after building of a new airport.