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Pakistan's Hajj quota slashed by 20 pct: NA body told

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's quota of Hajj pilgrims has been slashed by 20 percent this year, the Ministry of Religious Affairs informed the National Assembly's standing committee on Wednesday. 

The meeting of National Assembly's standing committee on religious affairs was chaired by Hafiz Abdul Karim at Parliament House in Islamabad today.

The officials of the religious affairs ministry in a briefing to the committee said that the draft of the new Hajj Policy has been displayed at the website of the ministry.

Those who have performed Hajj during past five years could not perform the pilgrimage this year, the officials said. 

They said that Pakistan's quota of Hajj pilgrims has been slashed by 20 percent this year due to the ongoing construction work at Haram-e-Kaaba. This year 1,43,368 pilgrims will perform Hajj. The officials said that Hajj pilgrims quota will be distributed equally between Private Tour Operators   and the government. The new tour operators will not be enrolled. Only one category of the residence has been offered to pilgrims and they have to pay 3600 Rials for stay in Makkah and 600 Rials at Madina.

The members of the NA standing committee expressed their resentment over hike in fares for Hajj and Umrah travel and summoned concerned officials of the state airlines for the standing committee's next hearing.

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