- The projected cost for Hajj 2024 in Pakistan to exceed 1.1 million PKR per pilgrim; the policy is under review for approval.
- Draft Hajj Policy 2024 outlines expenses covered and the provision of separate accommodations for single-family pilgrims.
- Introduction of a short-term Hajj package for 2024, lasting 20-25 days, to enhance flexibility for prospective pilgrims; Saudi commitment to improving services noted.
The projected cost for the highly anticipated Hajj 2024 under the Pakistani government’s scheme is expected to exceed 1.1 million Pakistani Rupees per pilgrim. This policy is presently undergoing evaluation by the federal cabinet and is anticipated to gain approval in the near future.
The draft of the Hajj Policy for 2024 discloses that the estimated cost of 1.1 million Rupees will cover various expenses for the pilgrims. It is worth noting that separate accommodations will be provided for single-family pilgrims.
The official announcement of the cost will be made once the Hajj Policy for 2024 receives approval. Furthermore, it is expected that the cost for private tour operators will surpass this amount.
Short-Term Hajj Package
The government is considering the introduction of a short-term Hajj package for the upcoming 2024 Hajj, which may have a duration of 20 to 25 days. This initiative is aimed at offering greater flexibility to potential pilgrims.
Aneeq Ahmed, the Caretaker Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, has confirmed the commitment of the Saudi Arabian government to enhance facilities and services for Pakistani pilgrims during Hajj 2024.
Controversy Surrounding Reduction
Recent discussions among legislators have revolved around the reduction of Pakistani Hajj Group Organizers (HGOs) from 905 to a mere 46.
While a letter has been sent to the Saudi Hajj and Umrah Ministry, requesting a postponement of the reduction for the current year and proposing a gradual decrease in the coming years, it has been emphasized that Saudi authorities may be unwilling to alter their decision.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs has been advised to prepare for the upcoming Hajj accordingly.
Road to Makkah
In a significant development, Saudi authorities have given the green light to expand the ‘Road to Makkah’ project from airports in Lahore and Karachi, with plans to extend it to airports in Peshawar and Quetta.
The ‘Road to Makkah’ initiative, which is a part of Saudi Arabia’s Guests of God Service Program, is designed to streamline the pilgrimage experience for Hajj pilgrims.
This initiative includes the issuance of visas and provision of baggage facilities at the pilgrims’ respective countries’ airports, facilitating their seamless transition to buses that transport them to their places of residence in Makkah and Madina while delivering their luggage directly to them. This eases various inconveniences upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia.
The agreement for this project was renewed in May when Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Interior Minister, Dr. Nasser bin Abdul Aziz Al-Dawood, met with Pakistan’s then-Interior Minister, Rana Sanaullah.
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