ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Justice (R) Nasir-ul-Mulk was briefed today about the working of Ministry of Religious Affairs with a special focus on Hajj Operations 2018. The briefing held at Prime Minister’s Office was attended by Minister for Religious Affairs Mr. M. Yousaf Shaikh, Secretary to Prime Minister Mr. Suhail Aamir, Secretary Religious Affairs Mr. Khalid Masood Ch., Secretary Evacuee Trust Property Board Mr. Muhammad Tariq and senior officials. Secretary Religious Affairs apprised the Prime Minister about various functions of the Ministry including formulation and operationalization of Hajj Policy, Ziaraat and Umrah, collection and disbursement of Zakat, policy formulation for promotion of inter-faith harmony, management of Evacuee Trust Property, Ruet-e-Hilal and ensuring error-free printing and publishing of the Holy Quran. The Secretary also briefed the meeting about the preparation made for ensuring smooth Hajj operations 2018. It was informed that 374,857 Hajj applications this year under the Government Hajj Scheme reflected the confidence of general public in Government managed Hajj operations. The Prime Minister was informed that 10,000 seats were reserved this year for the applicants over 80 years of age along with one physically fit attendant. Similarly, 12,235 applicants who remained unsuccessful continuously for the last three or more years have been declared successful to perform Hajj. Moreover, the Prime Minister was also briefed about pre-departure trainings of the Hujjaj, transportation and accommodation and other facilities that have been arranged to facilitate pilgrims. The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made so far by the Ministry for ensuring smooth Hajj operations. The Prime Minister directed that especial attention should be paid and maximum facilitation should be extended to the aged pilgrims and to those with special needs. The Prime Minister said that comprehensive feedback on all aspects of Hajj arrangements should be fully utilized to further improve the affordability, arrangements and facilitation of Hujjaj in future.