Date for Hajj applications extended

Published: June 26, 2010

Hamid Saeed Kazmi addressing a press conference in Islamabad. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: The government has extended the last date of Hajj applications for intending pilgrims across the country to July 2.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi said that “We have taken this decision since many Hajj applicants could not deposit their forms due to late delivery of machine-readable passports.”

Kazmi said that at least 30,000 people have already applied and that he hopes that the one week extension will help many more intending pilgrims to apply.

He added that he will extend the date further if the ministry does not meet the required number of 80,000 applications.

Disagreeing with the Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs, Kazmi said that any reduction in Hajj costs was not possible under the current circumstance. The expenditure has been fixed with the approval of the federal cabinet so there is no need to revise the policy, the minister added.

The committee had directed the Religious Affairs Ministry to reduce Hajj fares.

The Hajj package has gone up by 19 per cent when compared with last year due to rising inflation. The total cost of flying out from Karachi or Quetta is Rs226,000. From other stations, this cost is Rs238,000.

Justifying the increase in Hajj expenditure, Kazmi said that the increase in fuel prices, devaluation of the Pakistani currency, rent of residential building for pilgrims in Saudi Arabia and additional facilities for pilgrims at Mina are some of the reasons for this increase.

“There was an acute shortage of buildings in the vicinity of Haram Sharif due to continuous demolition of buildings in Makkah,” he explained.

He went on to say that the banks have been directed to receive applications of those who have applied for readable passports. In this respect we are helping people to get their passports as early as possible. The Ministry also requested the passport offices in the State to issue passports to Hajj applicants within a week.

Reiterating the Hajj policy 2010, he said that as per the agreement with the Saudi government, 159,647 Pakistani nationals will be allowed to perform Hajj in 2010. The number of pilgrims under the government scheme would be 80,000.

Kazmi said that this year there would be no special quota and that pilgrims would be selected through a ballot under the government scheme.

Kazmi said that applicants who have been unsuccessful in the ballot during the last two years consecutively under the government scheme will be declared successful regardless.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • ali
    Jun 28, 2010 - 3:45PM

    my request to miniter of hajj that if he want to extend date of hajj application because of short received of application then the people who has sumitted the application ealier consider to be sucessful without balloting and balloting is applied on the extended date application

    tahnksRecommend

  • Mohd Anwer
    Jun 29, 2010 - 11:39PM

    my request to miniter of religious affairs that if he want to extend date of hajj application further after 02 july because of short received of application then the people who has sumitted the application ealier consider to be sucessful without balloting and balloting is applied on the extended date of application.

    tahnksRecommend

  • Saleem
    Jun 29, 2010 - 11:42PM

    Do not extend Hajj aplication date and and accept all submitted application first then ask for further applicationRecommend

  • Jul 2, 2010 - 11:17AM

    I request to minister religious affairs do not extend the hajj application. The application received so far will be accepted first and then extend date. Further more, government should directed to passport offices for early issuance of machine readable passport and should take partical steps. I apply for passport in sargodha office and office give date to receive the passport on 29 Jun 2010. On 29 Jun 2010 I went to passport office Sargodha but office management says to me that passport is not availabel yet. You should visit again after a one week. I hubly request to take partical steps and government should issue order of passport offices for early issuance of machine readable passport. I humbly request to please increase hajj expenditure on the name of Almighty Allah. This is all muslims request.
    ThanskRecommend

  • Jul 4, 2010 - 2:52PM

    How many hajj application received up to 2 July 2010.i think that this year our government did not achieved target 80,000 pilgrims. think hajj package is too expensive that why pilgrims are not going for hajj this year. I request to our government that please reduced this package . it should be same as previous year.
    my request to miniter of hajj that if he want to extend date of hajj application because of short received of application then the people who has sumitted the application ealier consider to be sucessful without balloting and balloting is applied on the extended date application.
    i am toaly agree with Mr. ali comments. dear ali your are comments are good. our goverments should fallow your comments.thanks Recommend

  • sopi
    Jul 8, 2010 - 10:31AM

    The excuse of demolition of buildings is only for pakistani ministry,
    How PVT hajj operators got buildings/hotals within 1km??
    Last year i performed HAJJ ,the building at 3km taken by our govt @3600 SR
    was actualy of 1000 SR ,Who is eating up the balance??
    Why the deficit of PIA is recovered from Hajjies every year???
    For God sake be honest for Hajj pilgrams plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.Recommend

  • asif
    Jul 19, 2010 - 9:23PM

    i want to ask that,which is last date of submition for Hajj Application…..???????????????Recommend

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