This year the Ministry of Religious Affairs has received a huge amount of Hajj applications. The number of applications submitted counts to three lacs seventy-four thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine (374,829) for the Government Hajj scheme 2018. This number is for sure record breaking.

Out of this total count of tremendous applications received one lac twenty thousand (120,000) applications would be chosen via balloting on the 26th of January 2018 that is tomorrow.

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As per a senior official of the Ministry, the highest number of applications were received from Karachi that is eighty-one thousand nine hundred and eighty-five (81,985) followed by the provincial capital of Punjab that is Lahore which received seventy-two thousand eight hundred and forty-three (72,843) applications. The third highest number of applications were received in Islamabad which was sixty-seven thousand eight hundred and ninety-six (67,896). Other cities that received a striking number of applications were Quetta, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Multan, Sukkur, Rahimyar Khan and Sialkot.

Ever since the approval of the Hajj policy-2018 by the Cabinet and announced by the federal minister for the religious affairs back in December 2017, the ministry announced the dates for the submission of the application submission at the designated bank branches. The dates announced by the government for Hajj application submission were from 15th of January until the 24th of January throughout the nation.

As per the newly approved policy, the cost for the Hajj pilgrims would remain unchanged—meaning the costs would remain same as that of last year. Pilgrims from the province of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were to submit a bank draft of rupees two lac eighty thousand and the pilgrims of Sindh and Baluchistan were to submit a bank draft of rupees two lac seventy thousand.

The senior official informed that this year the Pakistan’s government has decided to bear all the extra expenses that would be incurred, keeping in mind that the Saudi Government has increased the tax impositions which has caused a rise in inflation and it would be difficult for the Ministry of Religious Affairs to provide the best quality services including accommodation and transportation, however, the government of Pakistan would try facilitating the pilgrims to the best of its abilities.

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