ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday announced the new Hajj Policy under which 179,210 Pakistani intending pilgrims will perform the religious obligation.
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf announced the policy at a news conference after it was approved by the federal cabinet.
The minister said that 120,000 intending pilgrims will be selected under government scheme while 59,210 will be selected under private hajj scheme.
He said applications will be received from 15-24th of next month and the balloting will be conducted on 26th January.
He said ten thousand intending pilgrims above 80 years will be selected through separate ballot and if the number exceeds then the elderly will be given preference.
Similarly ten thousand applications will be selected among those applicants who could not succeed in the last three years and their applications will also be included in the general balloting.
The minister further said that Hajj package 2018 for North region is 280,000 rupees and 270,000 rupees for South region. Each intending pilgrim will deposit additional 13,050 rupees for the sacrificial animal.
There will be no change in the hajj package but the stay may be reduced from 38 to 30 days. He said the Hajj applications will be received through branches of the selected banks.