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Monday, July 22, 2024

Hajj to be digitalized by next year for Pakistani pilgrims

Pakistan's Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has shared plans to fully digitize the annual Hajj pilgrimage operations.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has unveiled plans to fully digitize the annual Hajj pilgrimage operations. This ambitious initiative aims to enhance the pilgrimage experience for millions of Pakistani pilgrims by providing timely information and improving complaint management. At the heart of this transformation is the introduction of a cutting-edge mobile application that will serve as a comprehensive information hub, offering real-time tracking features and ensuring a smoother and safer journey for pilgrims.

Empowering Pilgrims Through Digital Innovation

Under the leadership of caretaker Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Dr. Umar Saif, and co-chairman Religious Affairs Minister Aneeq Ahmed, the decision to digitize Hajj operations was reached during a meeting of a special committee formed under the prime minister’s directive. The central focus of this initiative is the development of a state-of-the-art mobile application that will cater to the diverse needs of Pakistani pilgrims during their stay in Saudi Arabia. This innovative app aims to empower pilgrims with real-time information, creating a more efficient and secure pilgrimage experience.

Read More: Govt to collect Hajj expenses from pilgrims in US dollars from next year

Committee’s Insightful Decision 

During the meeting, officials presented an overview of the existing Hajj operation system, highlighting the need for digital transformation. This decision reflects Pakistan’s commitment to modernize and streamline the annual Hajj pilgrimage, making it more accessible and convenient for its citizens.

Mobile App for the Future

The forthcoming mobile application promises to be a versatile tool for pilgrims, offering real-time tracking features that keep them informed about their journey and related information. In addition to facilitating Hajj rituals, accommodation, and transportation, the app will also enable pilgrims to provide independent reviews and feedback on their Hajj experience. This feedback mechanism aligns with leading platforms in the housing and hospitality sectors, ensuring continuous improvement in Hajj operations and facilities. Pilgrims will have the means to share their digital feedback, thereby contributing to a more enriching Hajj experience for all.

Roadmap to Digital Transformation 

Dr. Umar Saif shared that, in line with the prime minister’s directives, a smartphone application and web portal will be developed to facilitate this transformative initiative. The goal is to have these digital tools ready for the next year’s Hajj pilgrimage. This ambitious timeline underscores Pakistan’s dedication to promptly modernize and enhance the Hajj experience for its citizens.

NITB’s Integral Role

To ensure the success of this initiative, Dr. Saif directed the National Information Technology Board (NITB) to swiftly upgrade the existing Hajj operation system throughout the digitization process. The NITB will play a pivotal role by addressing shortcomings and providing technical expertise. Additionally, the CEO of NITB will deploy an expert team to collaborate closely with the Ministry of Religious Affairs to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the new digital system.

Read More: Former priest, who performed Hajj, says converted to Islam after dreams

Pakistan’s bold step to digitize Hajj operations reflects its commitment to modernization and efficiency. With the introduction of a cutting-edge mobile app and a robust feedback system, Pakistani pilgrims can look forward to a more informed, convenient, and enriching Hajj experience in the near future. This marks a significant leap toward a digitally empowered pilgrimage.