ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Religious Affairs has started receiving Hajj applications, said a press release on Thursday.
The deadline to apply for the 80,000 seats that have been made available for the government scheme is June 25. A ballot would be held in case the number of applications exceeds the available seats. The applications are being received through designated bank branches of Allied Bank, Habib Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, National Bank of Pakistan, United Bank and Zarai Taraqiati Bank all over Pakistan. There will be no special quota for people this year. However applicants applying for the third straight year will be adjusted without ballot. Similarly, pilgrims unable to go for their pilgrimage due to official negligence will also be adjusted this year. Successful candidates will be required to submit their original machine-readable passports to their respective bank branches within four days of being selected. Moreover these passports need to be valid for at least one more year at the time of submission or their visa application will be rejected.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 11th, 2010.
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