Hajj Policy 2012: One Hajj in five years limit for private pilgrims also

Published: April 28, 2012
Restriction already in place on pilgrims intending to use govt Hajj scheme. PHOTO: FILE

Restriction already in place on pilgrims intending to use govt Hajj scheme. PHOTO: FILE


In line with the new Hajj policy, the government wants private Hajj operators (PHOs) to restrict intending pilgrims from performing Hajj or Umrah more than once in five years.

Under the new policy, the restriction has already been placed on pilgrims intending to perform Hajj or Umrah using the government subsidy.

“We will bind private operators to not facilitate those intending pilgrims who perform Hajj every year,” Religious Affairs Minister Khurshid Ahmed Shah informed the National Assembly (NA) on Friday.

“People go to Saudi Arabia through these (private) operators every year and do not return back to Pakistan,” he said, adding that a shift is needed to keep check on PHOs now.

MNA Khalida Mansoor observed that the PHOs were not following the rules set by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. “The government should move against private tour operators…they are fleecing the people.”

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had also moved against PHOs earlier this year on account of complaints by pilgrims. The bureau is still unable to initiate investigations, however, due to a lack of cooperation from the ministry concerned, a senior official told The Express Tribune. He added that NAB has meanwhile started inquiry into complaints by pilgrims against Gerry’s Travels over non-provision of services to them.

Khalida Mansoor also criticised the decision to increase the fare from Rs20,000 to Rs70,000 for all classes. However, Khurshid Shah blamed the increase in fare on rising inflation.

The government has signed four agreements with Saudi Arabia to facilitate 179,210 pilgrims this year under the new Hajj Policy. The Pakistani Mission in Saudi Arabia has also signed agreements with the National Adillah Establishment Madina, South Asian Pilgrims’ Muttawif Establishment, National Establishment Madina and General Transport Syndicate for facilitating pilgrims, Shah informed the House. They will provide transport to Pakistani pilgrims upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia and until their return to Pakistan, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Rehan
    Apr 28, 2012 - 11:51AM

    In the flood of 2010 and 2011 the whole south Punjab and sindh was washed away and thousands of people are still displaced.

    The Govt could not announce a policy or any Fatwa from any Ulama to spend the money spend on Hajj on these displaced people instead of asking for aid from USA and Europe.

  • nabil
    Apr 28, 2012 - 12:29PM

    hey people,.. any advise on a reliable PHO in KHI ?


  • aslam
    Apr 28, 2012 - 1:15PM

    good step, the restiriction is there already in saudi arab, and other countries, same people go every year and other people who haven’t performed hajj even once get deined

    Hajji is a farz ONLY Once in a life, and not once every year.


  • Abdullah
    Apr 28, 2012 - 4:56PM

    “People go to Saudi Arabia through these (private) operators every year and do not return back to Pakistan,”

    This is more applicable for government operators. Also, this won’t stop due the five year restriction. In fact, this might now increase, since those who go more than once in five years would not be allowed and those who go once and stay would have better opportunity :)

    If someone wants to perform HAJJ within the five year, he/she should be allowed.


  • Abdullah
    Apr 28, 2012 - 4:58PM

    @Rehan, The money which was donated in the government accounts or promised / announced by the government is enough for their rehabilitation, if it is used there. No need to stop someone from going for HAJJ.


    Apr 28, 2012 - 5:51PM

    i want rates of haj 2012


  • lutfi
    May 3, 2012 - 4:38PM

    i hope the policy of 2012 will be implement in acordance with the proposed work plan


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