President Abdul Hamid on Saturday said negligence, irregularities and corruption in hajj management must be dealt with an iron hand.
“Over 95 percent hajj pilgrims travel to Saudi Arabia through hajj agencies. Past experiences show that many agencies don’t live up to their promises of providing pilgrims with various facilities once they reach Makkah-Medina. As a result, the pilgrims have to face untold sufferings,” he said.
The President was addressing a dinner event hosted for Hajj Ulema-Mashayekh team at the Darbar Hall of Bangabhaban in the evening.
Abdul Hamid said when hajj pilgrims face any problem in Saudi Arabia, the government has to intervene in the issue. “Such activities tarnish the country’s image. Such fraudulence with the pilgrims is not expected.”
He, however, acknowledged huge contributions of private agencies to the hajj management.
Mentioning that the hajj management has so far completed smoothly this year, the President expressed the hope that other hajj activities will be done well, too and urged all concerned to remain aware in this regard.
Pointing to the Hajj Ulema-Mashayekh team, he said, “Your inclusion in the hajj mission for the first time is undoubtedly a very important matter. It proves that the present government believes in upholding proper respect and dignity of Islam and the scholars.”
Abdul Hamid expressed the hope that hajj pilgrims will be able to perform hajj smoothly with their advice and guidance. “Besides, your experience of performing hajj will have a positive role in the hajj management in the future,” he said.
About pilgrims’ immigration, he said they had to wait in Jeddah for long to complete their immigration procedure. “But from now on, Bangladeshi pilgrims are completing the immigration procedure at Dhaka airport instead of Jeddah which eased their sufferings.”
Describing the pilgrims as goodwill ambassadors of Bangladesh, he urged them to be cautious about their language and behaviour so that others do not get any negative message about the country.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain and 10 Ulema also spoke on the occasion.
Secretaries concerned to the President were also present during the programmme.
This year, hajj flights started on July 4 and will continue till August 5.
A total of 127,198 pilgrims are scheduled to perform hajj from Bangladesh.unb