Hajj balloting on Tuesday


ISLAMABAD: The balloting to choose over 107,526 intending pilgrims to qualify for performing the sacred religious obligation of Hajj under the government scheme will be conducted by Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sahibzada Noorul Haq Qadri on Tuesday.

According to a ministry official, total 216,542 applications had been received since February 25 till the last date of submission by the designated banks, which had so far compiled the data of 216,623 applicants online and would complete the process on Monday.

The official said the applicants were being informed about the receipt of their applications through short messaging services (SMS) on their mobile phones, while their particulars would also be uploaded on the ministry’s website. He asked the applicants to check their particulars on the website and get corrected the mistakes if any.

He asked the intending pilgrims to contact 051-9216980 & 051-9216982 for guidance and information.

According to the Hajj Policy 2019, initially, 184,210 Pakistanis were to perform the sacred religious obligation, including 107,526 under the Government Hajj Scheme and rest through Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs).

However, the Saudi government later enhanced the Hajj quota of Pakistan to 200,000 pilgrims. The ministry is yet to decide about the fate of additional quota of 15,790.

Some 10,000 seats each under the government scheme have been reserved for senior citizens (above the age of 80 years) and for those who remained unsuccessful in balloting continuously for the last three years (2016, 2017 & 2018).

Likewise, 1.5% of the total seats under government scheme are reserved for hardship cases while 500 seats for the low paid organizations and companies registered with the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institutions (EOBI) / Workers Welfare Fund under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).