Saudi Arabia has increased the Hajj 2019 quota for the Pakistani pilgrims, as per a statement issued by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The statement was issued on Sunday.
As per the ministry, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have inked a deal in this matter. Under the signed agreement, more than one lac eighty-four thousand (184,000) which is five thousand (5,000) more than the quota of 2018, would be performing the Hajj next year.
The Kingdom has also assured the minister about considering a further raise in the Hajj quota for Pakistan as per the new census, after doing some consultation.
Pir Noor ul Haq Qadri—the Minister of Religious Affairs and his Saudi counterpart, while inking the deal, also agreed about including Pakistani pilgrims in the “Road to Makkah” project in phases. 35,000 pilgrims from Sindh would be taking advantage of this scheme during the Hajj 2019.
Pakistani pilgrims would be getting an e-visa, according to the signed deal for Hajj 2019 and the verification and immigration process of the pilgrims would be done at the Karachi Airport.
The foreign department of Saudi Arabia informed Pakistan that the decision regarding the visa fee reduction is yet to be imposed.
As per the Saudi authorities, they would be finalizing a decision about the abolition of fee after making consultation with the Khadim-e-Haramaynal-Sharifayn.
It is pertinent to mention that Saudi authorities following the special request of the Prime Minister—Imran Khan agreed upon decreasing the fee for the Pakistani pilgrims from SAR 2000 to just SAR 300.
Back in November, Qadri informed to the national assembly that his ministry has initiated work on Hajj policy 2019 which would be completed in 3 months’ time.
Regarding the Hajj charges he said they would be finalized after consultation with the stakeholders.
More Read: Pakistanis Tops List of Umrah Pilgrims