Govt revokes Haj-e-Badal restriction, extends application submission deadline

Pakistan has secured 179,000 Haj seats with around 89,605 pilgrims expected to perform Haj under government scheme

Pilgrims circle the Kaaba as they pray at the Grand Mosque, during the annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, July 12, 2022. — Reuters
  • Those paying in dollars from abroad to be automatically selected.
  • People who performed Haj in last five years are also eligible to apply.
  • Around 89,605 Pakistanis to perform Haj under govt scheme.

With thousands of Pakistanis scrambling to secure a spot at next year’s Haj, the government Tuesday extended the application submission deadline till December 22, and also revoked the five-year prohibition of Haj-e-Badal — the Haj performed by a person on account of another.

In a statement, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony revealed that the application submission deadline for Haj 2024 has been extended by 10 days as the previously announced December 12 deadline expired on Tuesday (today).

Furthermore, the ministry also underscored that Haj applications in the sponsorship scheme are being received on a “first come first served” basis.

Additionally, the government in its bid to attract valuable foreign exchange in the wake of depleting forex reserves, has announced that those paying their dues in dollars from abroad will be declared as “winners” without the need for ballotting.

Also, pilgrims who have performed Haj in the last five years are also eligible to apply for Haj 2024.

The announcement comes after the government’s decision to slash Haj expenses by Rs100,000 with the next year’s pilgrimage set to cost Rs1,075,000 to around 89,605 Pakistanis expected to perform Haj under the government scheme.

Pilgrims can choose between both long and short-term packages spanning over 38 to 42 and 20 to 25 days, respectively.

Meanwhile, women, for the first time in history, will have the opportunity to undertake the sacred journey without the traditional requirement of a male companion.

Furthermore, the government would provide free-of-cost mobile SIMs with roaming internet packages to the Pakistani pilgrims.

It is pertinent to know that Pakistan has secured 179,000 Haj seats, with half reserved for private Haj operators.

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