ISLAMABAD While the apex court awaits from the Foreign Office a detailed report regarding authenticity of the letter written by Saudi Prince Bandar bin Khalid bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud to the Chief Justice of Pakistan which accused Pakistani authorities of renting substandard accommodation for Pakistani pilgrims on inflated rates in Makkah, Jeddah based sources told TheNation that it was genuine. I can confirm you that the letter was written by Saudi Prince and Foreign Office is finalising its report which will be submitted to honourable court shortly, a high-ranking diplomatic source told TheNation on telephone on Monday requesting not to be named. According to detail available through the same high ranking and reliable source, Pakistans Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Omer Khan Ali Sherzai has conveyed to Foreign Office that the letter was duly written by His Royal Highness, Prince Bandar bin Khalid bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud. However, Sherzai is yet to report to Foreign Office officially. Also, Islamabad-based diplomatic sources confirmed that the letter was genuine and that the Saudi Prince did the same after he came to know about the irregularities committed by Pakistani authorities. Omer Khan Ali Sherzai is said to have had submitted 'must have list to Pakistans Haj Directorate in Makkah with some pieces of advice to facilitate Pakistani Hujjaj this season, however, the Directorate did not bother to act upon any of his single recommendation. Meanwhile, Pakistans Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Umar Khan Ali Sherzai has called for judicial inquiry into the mismanagement and poor arrangement for Hajj pilgrims this year. Meanwhile, talking to a private TV channel on Monday, Sherzai expressed displeasure over the problems faced by Hujaj. The minister tried his level best to keep him away from each and every arrangement, he said and added Pakistans embassy in Saudi Arabia was not engaged in Haj operation. The envoy held the minister for religious affairs responsible for the poor arrangements made for pilgrims. Sherazi called for judicial investigation into the matter, adding that tour operators should also be included in the probe. Sherzai called for setting up a high-level judicial commission, comprising Supreme Court judges, so that those responsible for difficulties faced by the Hujaj could be taken to the task. When contacted, spokesperson of Foreign office said, they (FO) were still awaiting a response from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, original documents available with TheNation, are sufficient to prove that the officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs had badly failed in providing standard facilities to pilgrims from Pakistan in the past as well. Not only they caused loss worth millions of Saudi Riyals to the national exchequer but also the pilgrims had to face multiple sufferings due to their greed and ineptness. Documents revealed that authorities of Ministry of Religious Affairs have been accused of providing the pilgrims residences in substandard buildings with poor facilities. To the shock of many, the Pakistani Hajis have been denied sufficient quantity of water (the basic facility) at their residences during their stay for Haj. Most importantly, the scrutiny of building vacation report for the year 2006-07 and 2007-08 revealed the Directorate General Haj Jeddah hired substandard Haj accommodations. In large number of cases, the Director Haj Khuddam-ul-Hujjaj reported the poor condition of the buildings, non-cooperation of buildings owners, short supply of water and other problems in escalator system. The Director Khuddam-ul-Hujjaj proposed penalty of SR51,543 and SR33,248 during Haj in December, 2006 and December 2007. Moreover, Directorate of Haj failed to recover the penalties imposed by Khuddam-ul-Haj from the owners of buildings, state the official documents available with TheNation. The documents revealed that the government had to suffer loss of SR84,791. After taking a look at detailed paragraphs mentioned below, one can observe how the concerned officials of Ministry of Religious Affairs teased the Hajis during Haj. As per policy and plan of Haj in December 2006 and 2007, buildings situated beyond the prescribed distance of 1,500 meters from Harman Sharif were not to be hired for Hajis. On the contrary, Directorate General of Haj Jeddah hired 20 buildings situated at a distance of more than prescribed limit of 1,500 meters. An amount of SR14.450 million was paid as a rent for these buildings during Haj in December 2006, 2007 which was unauthorised. This observation was conveyed to the Ministry in November 2009. The Ministry replied that a minimal number of buildings were hired at the distance more than 1,500 meters from Haram Sharif. It is pertinent to mention here that the buildings were hired with the approval of competent authority. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of Pakistan have fixed 3-square meter space per pilgrims in Tasreeh and Haj Policy for hiring of Hujjaj accommodation at Makkah. The Tasreeh contains lodging capacity, number of rooms and floor whereas Haj policy contains, among other provisions, bathrooms and kitchens facilities. Buildings are to be hired on the basis of these documents. The Directorate of Haj made a payment of SR2.647 million for the accommodation over and above Tasreeh, in respect of 37 buildings. Hajis from Pakistan also suffered hardships and discomfort. The expenditure of SR2.647 million, according to the documents available with TheNation, due to accommodation capacity over and above the Tasreeh was held irregular. However, Ministry of Religious Affairs never bothered to take action in this regard in order to put the things right. Utterly alarmed by the substandard arrangement for the pilgrims of Pakistan by the Pakistans Haj Directorate this year, Saudi prince told the Supreme Court in writing that Pakistans Ministry of Religious Affairs was indulging in corruption while dealing with Haj pilgrims. We offered cheaper accommodation within two kilometers of the Haj congregation venue but (this was rejected), Saudi prince told apex court of Pakistan in writing at start of this month requesting Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary to take notice of this matter. Promptly responding, apex court asked the concerned authorities to verify authenticity of letter. The sources claim that letter was genuine, while the Foreign Office is yet to confirm this.