TAXILA: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousaf said this Saturday that groundwork to introduce Arabic into the curriculum, as a compulsory language up to the senior secondary (SSC) level, has been completed.

Speaking to the press at Wah Cantonment on Sunday, the minister added that the project would be initiated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) before being phased into other provinces.

The minister also discussed the upcoming Haj operation saying that all possible facilities will be provided to pilgrims from both public and private sectors, including an improved bus service in Saudi Arabia. He added that a draft Haj policy had also been finalised and that an electronic Haj monitoring system was being introduced.

The minister said this year’s Haj would be exemplary as the government is making every effort to facilitate the pilgrims.

Mr Yousaf also said that, according to the new Haj policy, 57,000 applicants will be selected under the government’s scheme this year. He added that 127,000 applications have already been received and that the selection process will end by May 20.

The minister said that, during their stay at the Haji camp, the pilgrims will be vaccinated for meningitis and other diseases. He said that the government of Turkey had provided the meningitis vaccines and that all the pilgrims would receive it free of cost.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2014

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