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8 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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First Hajj flight on Saturday

STAFF REPORTER

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the Hajj activities, 2018, formally on Wednesday like in previous years, while the first official Hajj flight will take off on Saturday. This year, a total of 1,27,198 pilgrims—7,198 under government management and 1,20,000 under private management—will perform Hajj from Bangladesh in Saudi Arabia. “The pilgrims, who will perform Hajj this year, will begin to gather at the Ashkona Hajj Camp from Tuesday. We have completed all the preparation to receive the pilgrims,” Syful Islam, director of Hajj Office told this correspondent.

He further said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was likely to inaugurate Hajj activities 2018 on July 11 (Wednesday). According to ministry sources, the national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines will carry the pilgrims on a fifty-fifty basis.  “We have already sold 49,600 tickets out of 63,600. We don’t see any problem in sending pilgrims this year like the previous year,” Shakil Meraj, general manager (PR) of Biman told The Independent yesterday.

 The first hajj flight will take off from Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport on July 14 (Saturday) with 419 pilgrims, he said, adding that civil aviation minister Rashed Khan Menon and religious affairs minister Principal Motiur Rahman likely to inaugurate the hajj flight jointly.

Meanwhile, the government has formed a 23-member ‘National Hajj Management Committee’ led by the Prime Minister to oversee the implementation of the agreements signed under the National Hajj and Umrah Policy, 2018, and coordinate hajj activities.

The committee includes two Ministers, Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, 11 secretaries, Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) leaders and other high officials of the government.

The committee will oversee the implementation of the agreements and coordinate the hajj management of the country’s pilgrims in Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, according to a government notification, signed by Religious Affairs Ministry’s Joint Secretary Dr. Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal, issued on July 2 this year.

According to the notification, Ministers for Religious Affairs and Civil Aviation and Tourism, Cabinet Secretary and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister will be its member. Religious Affairs Ministry’s Joint Secretary (Hajj) will act as its member secretary.

The secretaries, who were included as its members, are Public Administration, Local Government Division, Housing and Public Works, Security Services Division, Public Security Division, Information, Health Services Division, Religious Affairs, Health Education and Family Welfare Division, Foreign Affairs and Civil Aviation and Tourism.

President and Secretary General of the Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB), the apex body of the Hajj agencies, will be its member including the chief executive officer (CEO) of Dhaka North City Corporation, Director General of National Security Intelligence (NSI), DG of Islamic Foundation and Director of Ashkona Hajj Office in Dhaka.

The committee has been asked to meet at least once in a year and gives the authorities to co-opt members if necessary.

According to the officials, the committee was formed under the leadership of the Prime Minister as it’s hard to manage activities properly due to the involvement of some important ministries, divisions and other offices in hajj management. It will act as a comprehensive body.

The committee will act immediately to resolve any kind of crisis that may crop up during the hajj period.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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