Hajj to become increasingly expensive, says minister for religious affairs


ISLAMABAD: Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Dr Noor ul Haq Qadri on Sunday said that the Hajj pilgrimage will become more expensive the coming five years.

Qadri made the comments while talking to Geo News’ programme Geo Parliament.

He explained the pilgrimage would become expensive as Saudi Arabia has said that all countries should gradually hand over Hajj packages to the private sector in the following three to four years.

Qadri said that Pakistan and other countries would have to accept Saudi Arabia’s demands. In addition, the minister elaborated that Saudi Arabia has also increased expenditures for the pilgrimage worldwide.

The announcement by Qadri comes in the wake of a recent decision by the federal cabinet to cease providing subsidies on Hajj, raising the cost of performing the Hajj by 63 per cent.

According to State Minister Ali Mohammad Khan, Saudi Arabia is primarily responsible for the hike in cost, explaining that 70 per cent of costs are incurred in the country.

Qadri said that after a failure of the cabinet to reach a consensus over the provision of subsidies,“ Prime Minister Imran said he could not agree on the subsidy in view of the economic woes.”