143,368 to perform Hajj in 2015: Religious affairs minister

Under Hajj Policy 2015 anyone who has performed Hajj in last five years will not be eligible to perform pilgrimage

Web Desk April 24, 2015
Under Hajj Policy 2015 anyone who has performed Hajj in last five years will not be eligible to perform pilgrimage. PHOTO: AFP

The government announced on Friday that around 143,368 Pakistanis would perform Hajj in 2015 under the Hajj Policy 2015.

Addressing a media conference in Islamabad, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said that the government and private Hajj group organisers will be operating on a 50-50 quota.

The minister said banks will accept Hajj applications from April 27 till May 8. Balloting will be conducted this year to select successful Hajj applicants as opposed to last year's policy of first-come-first-served basis. Hajj applications can be submitted with the specified branches of 10 different banks.

The policy stated that anyone who has performed Hajj in the last five years will not be eligible to perform pilgrimage this year except for those people who will be going as ‘Mehram’ or the ones performing ‘Hajj-e-Badal’.

Yousaf said the government has reduced the Hajj package for the North region, including Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa by Rs7,260. The package for south region, including Sindh and Balochistan, has been reduced by Rs6,260. The pilgrims who opt to perform their qurbani through government scheme will have to pay additional Rs14,210.

Under the government scheme, the pilgrims will be provided food in Mecca, Madina and Mina as per the practice of last year.

The minister also said the airfare has been reduced to Rs98,700 from Rs107,700 for the north zone while the airfare for south zone has been reduced to Rs89,700 from Rs97,700. He made it clear that there will be no free Hajj this year as per the past tradition.

The machine readable passports, computerized national identity cards and medical certificate was also made mandatory to be submitted for pilgrims.

"Under the government scheme, fifty percent of the pilgrims will be airlifted directly to Madina and fifty percent to Jeddah if willing," the minister said.

He said no new Hajj group organizers will be given quota this year.

The minister said elaborate arrangements will be made to facilitate the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. In this connection, a medical mission of 450 people will be sent to the holy land. He said transport facilities will also be provided to the Hujjaj round the clock and provided accommodation at one place as different categories of accommodation have been abolished.

Yousaf said Hajj operation monitoring system has also been strengthened. Pilgrims complaints will be listened to and addressed through call centers, emails and special monitoring teams.

He further said they will be provided with five liters of Zam Zam at Pakistani airports on their return from the pilgrimage.

The piece originally appeared on Radio Pakistan.


Gulfam Nabi Shaikh | 8 years ago | Reply I have received only Rs1508 only please reply me in detail of refund Hajj policy 2015.
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