Hajj Policy for the year 2018 has been approved by the Federal government on Wednesday. As per the approved new policy, the official Hajj quota for the government Hajj Scheme for the Hajj-2018 would be one lac twenty thousand.
Hajj is a holy ritual performed by the Muslims all over the world in the Islamic month of Zil’Hajj. This is mandatory for all the Muslims who could afford the expenses incurred in performing the whole procedure.
Saudi Arabia engages itself in advance preparations for hosting the event as a huge count of Muslims from different countries of the world visits the Holy house—Khana-e-Kaaba to perform Hajj.
Sardar Muhammad Yousaf—Minister of Religious Affairs said in a press conference that the Hajj applications are to be submitted from the 15th of January 2018 until the 24th of January 2018.
He added that the draw for the official scheme would be held on the 26th of January 2018.
Ten thousand pilgrims who wish to perform Hajj and are above eight years would be selected via a separate balloting and if the number increases then the senior in ages would be preferred to perform Hajj this year.
The minister of Religious Affairs informed that the last year’s hajj quota would continue and one lac seventy-nine thousand two hundred and ten pilgrims from Pakistan would travel for Hajj this year. One lac twenty thousand is the allotted quota for the government scheme and fifty-nine thousand two hundred and ten would be chosen through the private Hajj scheme.
He added that the Hajj policy has been revised owing to the directions of the Supreme Court and said that the public trust has been restored on the official Hajj scheme.
Sardar Yousaf added that this is the fifth consecutive year that government has successfully announced the Hajj policy.
The Hajj package for the North region for the year 2018 is rupees two lac eighty thousand and for the South region, it would be two lacs seventy thousand.
Each pilgrim would have to deposit an additional number of rupees thirteen thousand and fifty for the sacrificial animals.
There would not be any change in the Hajj package but the stay at Saudi Arab might get reduced from thirty-eight to thirty days.
The Hajj applications would be received via the branches of the selected banks.
For performing Hajj via the government scheme a woman must be accompanied by a Mahram or else the Hajj application would not be considered. It is a mandatory ruling for all the Haji women. However, if the woman is above 45 years of age or belongs to Fiqah-e-Jafria then she would be exempted from the condition.
A computerised National Identity Card, Medical Certificate and an International Machine Readable Passport with the validity up to 20th February 2019 are the essentials for applying for the Hajj.
For hardship cases, two percent quota has been allocated. Out of these 2,400, five hundred would be the seats for low income-labours whose organization has been registered with the welfare board.
Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs) would be given quota via the transparent mechanism. HGOs would need to submit five percent of their package amount to the Ministry of Religious Affairs as security deposit which would be refundable after Hajj.