Dec 1, 2021: The Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony was informed on Tuesday that Pakistan’s Hajj quota for the year 2022 is being increased from 179,210 to 200,000 pilgrims.
The committee was informed that the Hajj quota will be distributed in the ratio of 60:40 – 60% for Hajj pilgrims and 40% for Hajj group organizers under the government scheme. Hajj quota for 5,000 pilgrims has also been allocated to 100 new private companies, officials said.
The meeting of the committee was chaired by Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri. The committee raised the issue of blacklisted Hajj group organizers. The committee called for a uniform policy to deal with irregularities.
The committee was informed that e-visa facility would be provided to all pilgrims. The officials said that challenges included health protocols; acceptance of Chinese vaccinations by Saudi Arabia; and the upscaling of the Road-to-Makkah initiative.
Other items on the agenda included a briefing on the Guardian and Wards (Amendment) Bill and Hajj policy, and policy and suggestions for minorities visiting their holy sites. Discussing the visit of minorities, the committee opined that such visits are governed by the laws of the host countries.
The meeting was attended by senators Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Gurdeep Singh, Anwar Lal Deen, Prof Sajid Mir, Muhammad Akram, Haji Hidayatullah and senior officers of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony. Senator Mohsin Aziz was a special invitee.
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