Hajj applications deadline extended amidst lackluster response

hajj 2024

ISLAMABAD: In response to a meager 40,175 applications received so far, Pakistan has opted to extend the deadline for submitting Hajj applications under the government scheme.

Faced with a surprisingly low turnout, authorities are exploring alternative measures to boost participation in the pilgrimage.

Aneeq Ahmed, the Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, announced the decision to extend the deadline by 10 days.

The extension aims to accommodate more applicants for both government and sponsorship Hajj schemes.

Minister Ahmed acknowledged that the economic situation in the country has contributed to a decline in the number of Hajj applications, despite efforts to reduce expenses and introduce short-term Hajj facilities.

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This year’s downturn follows the return of almost 20,000 Hajj quotas to Saudi Arabia last year due to a drop in pilgrims.

In a separate development, Pakistan has scrapped the mandatory requirement for a Covid vaccination certificate for next year’s Hajj pilgrims.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony announced the decision via its official Twitter handle, stating that the obligation to present a Covid vaccination certificate for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage has been eliminated.

This move aims to streamline the pilgrimage process and facilitate the participation of intending pilgrims in the sacred journey.

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