Hajj application in Pakistan to start last week of February

Special Hajj application in Pakistan to start last week of February
Saudi Arabia’s Road to Makkah pre-immigration facility launched as a pilot project at Islamabad International Aiport in 2019. (File/AN photo by Sib Kaifee)
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Updated 14 February 2020
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Hajj application in Pakistan to start last week of February

Hajj application in Pakistan to start last week of February
  • Under current quota, 179,210 Pakistani pilgrims will perform Hajj this year
  • Religious Affairs Ministry filed request to Saudi authorities to allow 20,000 more

ISLAMABAD: The Hajj application season for Pakistani pilgrims is going to start in the last week of February, the Ministry of Religious Affairs said on Friday.
“The applications will be accepted in all branches of major banks in Pakistan, most likely from Feb. 24,” the ministry’s spokesman Imran Siddiqui told Arab News in Islamabad, adding that 179,210 pilgrims are set to perform the Hajj this year.
“This year a total of 179,210 pilgrim quota has been allotted by the Saudi government for Pakistan but we have applied for a further increase of 20,000,” he said.
From the current quota of 179,210, around 107,000 pilgrims (60 percent) will perform the pilgrimage under a government scheme, while the rest will go on private terms, Siddiqui said. He added that no special quota has been allotted to any minister or politician.
The government has succeeded in keeping Hajj expenditures under half a million rupees, and it will be “only Rs53,000 more than last year,” he said.
“The Hajj package through the government scheme would be Rs490,000 for pilgrims from northern regions and 480,000 rupees from southern regions of the country.”
“The increase in the Hajj package was mainly due to a surge in airline fares of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Saudi Airline, depreciation of Pakistani currency and extra arrangements in Mina. The Saudi government levied an additional fee of 300 riyals for each Hajj visa and 110 riyals for mandatory health insurance for all international pilgrims,” Siddiqui said.
Earlier on Friday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza, announced that the government has designated the Hajj complex in Rawalpindi to quarantine persons arriving to the Islamabad airport from China, if they are suspected of having contracted the new coronavirus.