Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Hajj 2022: Ministry of Religious Affairs fails to unveil policy for pilgrims

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Religious Affairs has failed to unveil the Hajj 2022 policy despite the flight operation is going to be started from May 31, ARY News reported on Monday.

The administration failure of the Ministry of Religious Affairs has come forth as the authorities failed to release the details of the Hajj 2022 package and expenditures for pilgrims.

It was learnt that the authorities are also yet to decide on the pilgrims’ quota of the government and private Hajj operators.

It emerged that the Hajj schedule is likely to be delayed due to administrative flaws which increase the troubles of the Hajj pilgrims across the country.

READ: HAJJ 2022: SAUDI ARABIA SETS AGE LIMIT FOR PILGRIMS

Hajj pilgrims are completely unaware of the expected expenditures and arrangements as the government delayed the announcement of the policy which is usually released 30 days prior to the commencement of the flight operations.

The Hajj operators, hotels and airline administration have also expressed concerns over the delay but the new minister Qazi Abdul Shakoor is seemingly reluctant to make the final announcement as yet.

Earlier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to begin the pre-Hajj operation of transporting intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia from May 31, 2022.

Well-informed sources told ARY News that the national flag carrier has completed all preparations to start the Hajj operation on May 31.

READ: SAUDI ARABIA ANNOUNCES LAST DEADLINE FOR UMRAH APPLICATIONS BEFORE HAJJ

PIA will operate Hajj flights from eight destinations including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot, Multan, Sukkur, Peshawar and Rahim Yar Khan.

Quota for Pakistani pilgrims

The religious affairs ministry has finalised arrangements with 81,000 allowed to travel to the Kingdom this year.

According to the ministry, 31,253 aspiring pilgrims will perform Hajj this year as Pakistan was given the quota of 86,000 pilgrims in 2022. The names of 32,000 successful applicants will be announced after balloting in accordance with the 40 per cent government quota.

The quota for pilgrims has been divided into 60% and 40% for private and government tour operators respectively, it was learnt.

It has been further recommended to charge Rs945,000 for government-facilitated Hajj while private tour operators will be allowed to charge above Rs1.2 million for the pilgrimage.

It is to be noted that Saudi Arabia has allotted the second-highest quota of Hajj pilgrims to Pakistan after the Kingdom allowed one million people to perform the holy pilgrimage this year.

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