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Thursday May 30, 2024

Hajj 2023: Ministry rules out extension in application submission deadline

Last date to submit Hajj application is March 31

By APP
March 28, 2023
An undated image of Muslims performing Hajj at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. — APP
An undated image of Muslims performing Hajj at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. — APP

ISLAMABAD: With the last date for Hajj applications looming (March 31), the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of an extension.

Confirming the development, Ministry’s spokesperson Muhammad Umar Butt told APP that the aspirant pilgrims should submit their Hajj applications and dues in the given time period.

Sharing details of the applications, he informed the state-run news agency that the ministry had received 44,621 Hajj applications through designated banks so far.

Butt said it had received 40,313 applications under the government Hajj scheme, while 4,308 applications under the sponsorship Hajj scheme.

The spokesperson further added that the designated banks remained open on weekends as well across the country for the collection of Hajj applications and dues to facilitate the intending pilgrims on the weekend.

On Saturday, the ministry received a total of 4,468 Hajj applications of which 3,960 applications were received under the government scheme and 508 under the sponsorship hajj scheme, he said.

Meanwhile, on Sunday the ministry collected a total of 2,679 Hajj applications out of which 2,371 applications were received under the government Hajj scheme and 308 applications under the sponsorship Hajj scheme.

Addressing concerns of overseas Pakistanis, he said that they could submit a health certificate issued from abroad in the bank or they could furnish a medical fitness certificate before their Hajj flight.

He said those who haven't received the coronavirus vaccine, could also submit the application.

“However, they will get a full dose of the vaccine and submit the certificate to the banks before their departure to Saudi Arabia. Apart from NADRA [National Database and Registration Authority], a foreign vaccine certificate will also be acceptable,” he maintained.

Butt clarified that it was not necessary for the person sending sponsorship to have a blood relation with the pilgrim. But it was essential to send the name, CNIC number, and contact number of the pilgrim along with the money, he added.

According to other official sources in the ministry, a reduction of Rs45,000 was expected in the Hajj expenses under the government Hajj scheme.

If the Pakistani currency did not fall further, the benefit would be transferred to pilgrims by the ministry, they added.

They said the ministry was trying to make the Hajj package cheaper as negotiations with the Saudi government were underway.

The sources said after the reduction, the government Hajj scheme for the northern region would be from Rs1,175,000 to Rs1,130,000 while it would be from Rs1,1 65,000 to Rs1,120,000 for the southern region.