Ministry health

On Sunday, the ministry will hold a ballot for the government’s Hajj program

Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage in Mecca on September 21, 2015.
  • Vote to select the Hajj pilgrims which will take place on Sunday.
  • 32,000 pilgrims will be selected out of a total of 63,666 candidates.
  • This year, the total cost of Hajj is expected to be 700,000 to 1 million rupees.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony will hold a ballot on Sunday to select more than 32,000 pilgrims out of a total of 63,666 applicants who wish to fulfill religious obligation under the government’s Hajj programme.

In a conversation with APPLICATION On Saturday, ministry spokesman Muhammad Umar Butt said the ministry had not extended the deadline for submitting Hajj applications due to time constraints.

He said that for the convenience of overseas Pakistanis, the deadline for submitting passports was 20 Zu al-Qadah.

He said the process of receiving Hajj applications started on May 1 and continued until May 13, through various designated branches of the planned 14 banks.

He said Pakistan received a quota of 81,132 Hajj pilgrims this year, which was distributed at a ratio of 40:60 to government and private programs respectively.

Butt, while estimating the expenses of Hajj, said that this year the total cost of the pilgrimage is expected to be Rs 700,000 to Rs 1 million, however, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has yet to provide details of mandatory expenses.

The ministry would announce the overall cost of the Hajj only after receiving details of the obligatory expenses from the affected districts, he added.

He said the ministry had launched a ‘Hajj helpline’ with landline numbers – 051-9205696 and 051-9216980-82 to facilitate and guide pilgrims, who could also get advice from the official number. WhatsApp 0306-3332555 via short message service (SMS).

It can be mentioned that personal smart phones are mandatory for pilgrims, who will need to download two approved mobile apps Tawakkalna and Eatmarna as instructed by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Ummah.

Saudi authorities launched the two mobile apps to help foreign pilgrims perform Umrah and Hajj, and to obtain visitation permits for the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina.

The Hajj is open to those who have received COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health and pilgrims are required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure time for Saudi Arabia.

People over 65 cannot perform Hajj this year.