KARACHI – In a significant development, Governor Sindh has recently announced that the government will bear the expenses of Hajj and Umrah for senior citizens of Pakistan.
During his visit to Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad (SGHL), Kamran Khan Tessori declared that the government would bear the expenses for Hajj and Umrah for individuals aged 75 or above.
Governor Sindh outlined the process, indicating that a fair and transparent balloting system would be implemented to select the fortunate recipients. Priority will be given to those who have not yet had the opportunity to embark on the holy pilgrimage in their lifetime.
To participate in the initiative, interested individuals must register with the Governor House. Upon registration, their names will be included in the balloting process, and successful applicants will be granted the opportunity to perform Hajj and Umrah. The government emphasized the importance of this initiative in providing a chance for the elderly to fulfill their spiritual obligations without financial constraints.
However, the governor did not specify whether the initiative is exclusive to residents of Sindh or open to individuals from across the country.
This unprecedented move aims to make the sacred journey accessible to a segment of the population that may have faced financial barriers in the past, demonstrating the government’s commitment to inclusivity and support for religious practices.
It is to be highlighted that Pakistan had secured approximately 179,000 seats for the upcoming Hajj, and half of these will be filled by private Hajj operators.
As far as the details of the upcoming Hajj are concerned, the government has introduced a short Hajj package, ensuring completion within 25 days. Priced at Rs 80, 000 more than the Long Hajj package, the cost for Short Hajj stands at Rs 1,140, 000 for individuals from the southern region(Burewala, Bhakkar, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Jhang, and Dera Ghazi Khan) and Rs 1,150, 000 for those from the northern areas (Mansehra, Naran, Kaghan, Gilgit, Chilas, Passu and Karimabad).
For the Long Hajj package, pilgrims will have an extended journey lasting up to 42 days, with eight of those days spent in Medinah. Departing from southern parts like Karachi, Quetta, and Sukkur, the cost of this experience is Rs 1,065,000. For those departing from the northern parts (Mansehra, Naran, Kaghan, Gilgit, Chilas, Passu, and Karimabad) the cost is slightly higher at Rs 1,075, 000.
Hajj and Umrah are sacred pilgrimage rituals in Islam. Hajj, a mandatory journey once in a lifetime, involves specific rituals in Mecca. Umrah is a recommended pilgrimage with similar rites but can be undertaken at any time, offering spiritual significance to Muslims.