ISLAMABAD: In a surprise last-minute move on Friday, the ministry of religious affairs postponed the Hajj balloting which was due to take place today following a stay order issued by the Sindh High Court.
On Thursday, the Sukkur bench of the SHC had issued a stay order on the balloting while hearing a petition that declared some of the conditions and restrictions of the new Hajj policy against the Islam and Sharia.
Record number of Hajj applications received
According to details, the ministry held a high-level meeting in the capital today following which the decision was taken.
After legal deliberations over a Sindh High Court verdict, the ministry of religious affairs decided to contact the Supreme Court. A new date for a new Hajj balloting would be announced then.
The ministry received a record-breaking number of 374,829 Hajj applications for the Government Hajj scheme 2018. Out of the total 120,000 applications were due to be selected through balloting today.
The highest number of applications totalling 81,985 came from Karachi, followed by Lahore with 72,483. Third highest was Islamabad with 67,896 applications. Other cities to note with a large number of applications are Peshawar, Multan, Quetta, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Sukkur, and Rahimyar Khan, said a senior official from the ministry.
Soon after the new Hajj policy was approved by the Cabinet and announced by the federal minister for religious affairs in December 2017, the ministry started receiving applications at designated bank branches from January 15 till January 24 across the country.
SHC dismisses private Hajj organisers’ plea against quota reduction
Under the new Hajj policy, the cost for the pilgrimage will be the same as last year. Pilgrims from Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will be Rs280, 000 and from Sindh and Balochistan Rs270,000.
Wasa Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood would bear the expenses for Hajj
Volunteers will assist Pakistani pilgrims in Saudi Arabia
Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1618801/1-ministry-religious-affairs-postpones-hajj-balloting/