16,000 more Pakistanis to perform Haj under revised quota

Published April 29, 2019
The religious affairs ministry prepares a summary under which balloting will be held for additional 9,474 seats. — AFP/File
The religious affairs ministry prepares a summary under which balloting will be held for additional 9,474 seats. — AFP/File

The Ministry of Religious Affairs has decided to hold another round of Haj balloting after Saudi Arabia revised the quota for Pakistani pilgrims, it emerged on Monday.

The Saudi government increased the Haj quota for Pakistani pilgrims to 200,000 from the previous 184,210.

The religious affairs ministry has decided to divide the additional quota of around 16,000 pilgrims as per the existing formula under which 60 per cent of the seats will go to the government Haj scheme, while 40pc will be granted to the private sector, an official told DawnNewsTV.

Take a look: Saudi thinks govt should hand Haj operations over to private tour operators: Noorul Haq Qadri

The new ballot will include aspiring pilgrims who had applied for Haj under the government scheme for 2019 but could not succeed.

According to a summary prepared by the ministry, balloting will be held for 9,474 places, whereas 6,316 pilgrims will perform the Islamic ritual through new private tour operators.

Those applicants who haven't withdrawn their Haj dues from banks will be included in the balloting automatically, while those who have withdrawn the amount will be given four days to re-submit it.

The date for the new ballot will be announced after approval from the federal cabinet, the official said.

Saudi Arabia has included Pakistan in its "Road to Makkah" project, which will allow pilgrims to undergo immigration clearance at Pakistani airports before leaving for Haj.

Riyadh, on the request of Prime Minister Imran Khan, has also decided to provide e-visa facility to Pakistani pilgrims. Under the facility, intending pilgrims will be provided visas at their doorstep.

Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Dr Noorul Haq Qadri had announced in February that the immigration facility was being extended to Lahore and Islamabad, after Karachi.

Opinion

Editorial

18 May, 2022

SC on defections

THE judgement is monumental and will significantly influence Pakistani politics for years to come. After a nearly...
18 May, 2022

Karachi blast

THE frequency of urban terrorism incidents over the past few weeks in Karachi should send alarm bells ringing within...
18 May, 2022

Threats to Imran Khan

IT seems there is never a dull moment in Imran Khan’s life. First, it was a cabal of local and international...
Updated 17 May, 2022

Buyer’s remorse

It is strange to hear senior PML-N leaders lamenting the subsidies, yet not even coming up with a subsidy rationalisation plan.
17 May, 2022

Sikh traders’ killing

THE brutal murder of two Sikh traders in the outskirts of Peshawar on Sunday illustrates the vulnerability of...
17 May, 2022

Cholera outbreak

REPORTS of rising cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea in several areas are raising the spectre of a public...