Furthermore, addressing a post-Hajj press conference, Mahmood congratulated the 160,000 Pakistani pilgrims on performing Hajj.
Praising the efforts of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, he also said no untoward incident was reported during Hajj this year in Jamarat, the place where people pelt stones.
Most of the pilgrims seemed satisfied with the arrangements, he noted.
Moreover, during the presser, Mahmood said he had brought the Hajj quota to over 179,000 for the next year.
“However, Haji expenses will be collected in US dollars not in Pakistani rupees,” he said.
The minister said the Saudi government made excellent arrangements on the occasion of Hajj, and he himself visited hotels of Pakistani haajis (pilgrims).
The Pakistani mission provided maximum assistance to Pakistanis during Hajj, he said.
Senator Mehmood added that he was offered to perform Hajj as a guest of the state, but he preferred to perform Hajj as a “common man”.
He had discussed the problems of Hajj pilgrims with the Saudi minister, who assured him of solving the problems in the future.
The religious minister said he did not allow anyone to perform free-of-cost Hajj and will not allow it in the future.
He said he had paid his Hajj expenses as a minister, remained with other Pakistani Haajis, and performed Hajj.
While answering a question, Mahmood said he had no knowledge of how many people performed Hajj with President Arif Alvi as the president’s Hajj had nothing to do with his ministry.