ISLAMABAD -  There is no end to discrimination towards Balochistan. Authorities have allowed only a single tour operator from Balochistan to carry out haj operations. While 2027 private tour operators have been allowed to carry out the holly operation, Senator Hamidullah said on Wednesday.

He revealed that Quetta Haji Camp lacked facilities and pilgrims were facing a lot of difficulties. There were no arrangements for making ablution, stressing need for making solid measures to improve situation.

The Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs was informed on Wednesday that 734 companies were providing services to the intending Pakistani Haj pilgrims this year.

The committee, which met here at the Parliament House with Senator Hamdullah in the chair, was told that 19 new companies were registered this year while the total number of tour operators was 3,627.

The committee directed the Ministry of Religious Affairs to provide details regarding complaints against the tour operators and the action be taken against them.

The committee members were of the view that the effective measures should be taken to prevent the tour operators from exploiting the haj occasion.

Elaborate facilities should be provided, enabling pilgrims to perform haj conveniently, they added.

The committee was told that 161 complaints were received against tour operators and 132 of them were addressed. Secretary Religious Affairs Shahid Khan said 123 buildings had been acquired for the Haj operation in Saudi Arabia. “Some 30,000 intending pilgrims had arrived Makkah and Madina so far,” he added.

He said each pilgrim paid 490 Riyal for Qurbani (sacrifice) and the amount was deposited in the Islamic Development Bank.

The committee’s members said the information about the Qurbani should be conveyed to each pilgrim. Senator Hamdullah said that among 2027 private tour operators, only a single tour operator was favoured and permitted in Balochistan.

He said section criteria should be made more effective for selecting tour operators in order to provide best facilities to Hujaj. Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said concrete measures were being taken to further improve facilities and ensure convenience for pilgrims.

Minister of State Pir Amirul Hasanat said services of six accounts companies had been hired to look into the pervious record, including enrollment and of private tour operators.

The committee unanimously decided to hold next meeting in Quetta to discuss the Haj policy and matters with regard to quota allotment for tour operators.