ISLAMABAD: The government has announced that applicants, who have performed Hajj in the last seven years, will not be eligible to apply for the religious pilgrimage under the government scheme in 2017. Hajj-e-Badal will be allowed only through the private Hajj scheme.
The decision was taken during a meeting held at the PM House on Thursday regarding arrangements for Hajj 2017. Session was presided by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and he was given a detailed briefing by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
The premier directed the religious ministry to take initiatives, and ensure better facilities for pilgrims at the minimum possible cost.
He was informed that the annual Hajj agreement for the year 2017 had been signed with Saudi Arabia, and the quota, which was reduced due to expansion of Haram Sharif in 2013, was restored from 143,368 to 179,210.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Hajj ministry has been requested to enhance the country’s quota by at least 15,000 on the basis of current population of Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2017.
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