Over 179,000 Pakistanis to perform Hajj this year: minister

Over 179,000 Pakistanis to perform Hajj this year: minister

Islamabad (Web Desk): Minister for Religious Affairs Mufti Abdul Shakoor on Friday said that all possible steps are being taken to provide maximum facilities to Hajj pilgrims this year.

Announcing the Hajj Policy 2023 in Islamabad today, the minister said that on his personal request from the Saudi Minister of Hajj Umrah, Saudi Arabia has reduced the necessary Hajj duties compared to the previous year.

Mufti Abdul Shakoor said that the estimated Hajj cost for Northern Region that includes Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Rahim Yar Khan, and Sialkot is 1,175,000 while for Southern region it is 1,165,000.

Estimated cost for northern region under sponsorship Hajj scheme is $4,325 and $4,285 for the southern region.

"This year we have introduced Sponsorship Hajj Scheme to facilitate overseas Pakistanis," the minister said, adding that the government was expecting to receive $194 million under the scheme.

Mufti Abdul Shakoor said that the process of reception of the Hajj applications will begin from March 16 while the deadline for Hajj applications is March 31st.

The Hajj draw will be conducted in first week of April.

"The overall national quota for this year's Hajj is 1,79,210 which will be distributed among government and private sectors with the proportion of fifty-fifty," he said

The minister said that Road to Makkah project facility will continue at Islamabad Airport which is likely to be extended to Lahore and Karachi.