Karachi - Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman Sunday condemned federal government decision to end subsidy on Haj pilgrimage and hike in its travel expenditure and said that those claiming forming Medina like state had made it difficult for masses to perform religious obligations.

In a statement, he said that people collect bit by bit to perform Haj but this unexpected rise has made it further difficult for them to perform their obligation.

“It is unfortunate that on one hand the government is scrapping subsidy on Haj and raising its expense and on the other had it is eyeing to give subsidy to various sectors,” he said and further asked as to why surcharges upto Rs 125 billion of fertilizer and textile industries were waived off.

Hafiz Naeem told that the Haj subsidy only provides a relief of Rs 9 billion to the government which is far below the subsidy given to industries.

He mentioned that neighboring countries like India also gives subsidy on Haj but unfortunately Pakistan government is over burdening the pilgrims. The JI chief asked if the government could not provide relief to people in its religious affairs then what is the need of religious affairs ministry.

He said that if the government is facing shortages in revenues and could not subsidies the Haj pilgrimage then it should cut its lavish expenditures rather than over burdening pilgrims.

Hafiz Naeem announced that they would not tolerate increase in Haj expenses and demanded to immediately withdraw the decision.