Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has granted a 10-day extension for Haj applications, now accepting submissions until December 22, responding to the persistent requests from eager pilgrims.
As per Ministry Spokesperson Muhammad Umar Butt, applications are processed on a first-come-first-served basis in the sponsorship scheme, with those paying in dollars from abroad being automatically successful, eliminating the need for balloting.
The spokesperson also highlighted the removal of the five-year moratorium on Haj-e-Badal, catering to public demands. Moreover, individuals who have undertaken Haj in the last five years are eligible to apply this year, and single women can participate in a group by providing a trust affidavit.
Government sources revealed that over 50,000 applications, including those for the sponsorship scheme, have already been received by scheduled banks. The total quota for the Government Haj Scheme, including the sponsorship scheme, is set at 89,605. Despite this, only around 2,500 applications have been submitted by overseas Pakistanis who paid in dollars against the 25,000 quota.
An official hinted at the possibility of another extension for overseas Pakistanis, stating, “Given the early surge in applications, an additional extension is likely for our compatriots living abroad.” Stay tuned for updates on this developing situation.