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The first Hajj flight will leave on May 21.

Talha Mahmood, the Minister of Religious Affairs, said on Sunday that the first flight of Hajj travelers will leave Karachi and Islamabad for Saudi Arabia on May 21, while the first group of helpers will leave on May 17.

At a press conference about Hajj plans, the minister said that some of the facilities connected to Hajj plans were not ready on time.

“Last year’s Hajj was easy because only 80,000 people went, but this year that number has grown to 175,000,” he said.

He said that the next Hajj would be hard and told pilgrims to “be ready for a hard Hajj.” He also said that efforts were being made to lessen the challenges that would be faced.

The federal minister urged people to point out any problems with how things were set up. He said that some pilgrims in the Hajj camp had whined to him that they didn’t have enough money to buy animals to sacrifice. He also said that the government was trying to make sacrifices cheaper for travelers by setting up a plan that was paid for by the government.

“The government will pay 720 riyals on behalf of the pilgrims for the holy sacrifice,” said the minister.

He talked about the costs and said that buildings in Makkah were hired for 2,600 riyals in 2019 and for 2,100 riyals this year.

He then said that the cost of trip was $1,000 last year and $900 this year. He said that the job of taking over buildings should have been finished in Ramazan, but that we had already done it.

Under the Road to Makkah plan, Minister Talha said that people would only be able to move at the airport in Islamabad, and that 26,000 pilgrims would leave from the federal city.

The federal minister said that every pilgrim will only go on the holy trip after getting training. If they don’t, he said, their plans will be changed. Besides this, he said that in Saudi Arabia, every traveler will also get a free SIM card.