Hajj Quota increases for Pakistan
Saudi Arabia increased Hajj quota for Pakistan to 179,210 applications for the year 2017. In 2013, due to expansion work in the Grand Mosque quota has been decreased.
While briefing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousaf told that “An agreement for the hajj quota of 2017 has been signed between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and is extended from 143,368 to 179,210.”
The prime minister was briefed that due to increased number of population Saudi Arabia was requested to increase the quota for Pakistan by at least 15,000.
The government has designed a scheme that applicants who had performed hajj in last seven years would not be able to perform the hajj in 2017. Prime Minister had approved this proposal. However, Haj-i-Badal will be allowed but through private Hajj scheme.
Minister further told that trust of applicant’s had been increased on government. “This is evident that the number of applicants has been increased from 300 percent from 86,919 in 2013 to 280,617 in 2016,” Minister claimed.
He told that process for hiring of accommodation, transport, catering and of other facilities has been initiated for the year 2017.
He said that with every passing year the government is trying to improve its hajj policies and make them more effective. He told that government specifically pay attention to arrangements at the airport, provision of three times meal in Mina, Muzdalifa and Arafat and availability of transport for pilgrims. He said the government is taking measures and is trying to make the journey of pilgrims secure and comfortable.
The minister of religious affairs ensured to fulfill its responsibilities with a full devotion not as an official duty but also as a religious obligation.