Pakistani pilgrims to get better place at Mina, Arafat


ISLAMABAD – Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Aneeq Ahmed has confirmed that Pakistani pilgrims will be provided a better place at Mina and Arafat during the upcoming Hajj.

The minister made the remarks as Pakistan signed the Hajj agreement with Saudi Arabia and also inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at the facilitation of pilgrims from Pakistan.

The location of the exact place has yet to be announced but the minister as well as the officials from the Religious Affairs Ministry are toiling hard to provide the best facilities to the pilgrims from Pakistan for the upcoming Hajj.

Mina is a tent city near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where pilgrims stay during the annual Hajj pilgrimage while Arafat is a plain near Mecca, significant during Hajj, where pilgrims gather for a key ritual, the Standing at Arafat or ‘Wuquf’. It is here that a key aspect of the pilgrimage takes place—the delivery of a sermon by the imam. 

For the forthcoming Hajj, the total number of seats allocated to Pakistan is around 180,000 but these include the seats allocated to the private Hajj operators.

The government had initially set December 12th as the deadline which was extended till December 22nd for the regular Hajj scheme. To attract the applicants, the government had also permitted those who had performed Hajj in the last 5 years to apply for the upcoming Hajj. 

The authorities have introduced the Short Hajj package for the pilgrims while the Sponsorship Scheme is also valid for this year as well.

As far as the Long Hajj is concerned, it would encompass 38-42 days with 8 days stay in Medinah and those flying from the South region i.e. Karachi, and Sukkhur would have to pay Rs 10,65,000 while those from other cities i.e. Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabad would pay Rs 10,75,000.

For Sponsorship scheme applicants, the cost is $3765 for the South Region while it is $ 3800 for the North Region for those opting for the Long Hajj package.

For the Short Hajj package, the cost for regular Hajj applicants is Rs 11,40,000 for the South region while the cost is Rs 11,50,000 for the North region; the Hajj would continue for 20-25 days under this scheme.

For the Sponsorship Scheme, the cost for Short Hajj is $ 4015 USD for the South region and $ 4050 for North region. 

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