ISLAMABAD – The Ministry for Religious Affairs has revealed that a systematic training program and a biometric schedule for Hajj pilgrims will be revealed next week.
The announcement followed a meeting between the Ministers for Religious Affairs, Aneeq Ahmed, and Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador Nawaf Bin Saeed Al Maliky at the Saudi embassy in Islamabad.
In a meeting, Minister Aneeq Ahmed shared that pilgrims from Pakistan can now conveniently complete their Saudi visa biometrics from the comfort of their homes. The initiative is expected to significantly simplify the visa processing for aspiring Hajj participants.
Moreover, Minister Aneeq Ahmed emphasized that the implementation of distinctive initiatives are geared towards improving the facilitation of Pakistani Hajj pilgrims in the upcoming pilgrimage season. These measures are designed to streamline processes, enhance training, and provide a more efficient and comfortable experience for pilgrims embarking on their sacred journey.
During the meeting, the Saudi Ambassador extended warm congratulations to the Pakistan Hajj Mission for securing a position among the top three award-winning countries for their exemplary services. He particularly commended Minister Aneeq Ahmed for his dedication and tireless efforts in offering outstanding facilities to Pakistani Hajj pilgrims.
This announcement marks a significant milestone in the ongoing collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, fostering an environment of improved services and facilities for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage.
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 is the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, obligatory for all Muslims who can afford it. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Pilgrims perform a series of rituals, symbolizing unity, equality, and spiritual cleansing.