Government Concerned as Only 2,800 Apply for Hajj Under Sponsorship Scheme

Despite allocating 25,000 seats to the Hajj Sponsorship Scheme, the response from overseas Pakistanis has been extremely disappointing. According to a national daily, only 2,800 applications have been received under the sponsorship scheme. It has rais…

Despite allocating 25,000 seats to the Hajj Sponsorship Scheme, the response from overseas Pakistanis has been extremely disappointing. According to a national daily, only 2,800 applications have been received under the sponsorship scheme. It has raised serious concerns for the government as it expected to obtain $100 million from the scheme for the $280 million required for Hajj this year. It is pertinent to mention that under the sponsorship scheme, overseas Pakistanis must pay the fee in dollars, helping the government to attract valuable foreign exchange. Following the unexpectedly poor response, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has sought assistance from the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis. The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis has been asked to guide Pakistani nationals living abroad about the Hajj application filing process. The ministry of religious ministry has also approached the Ministry of Information in this regard. Earlier, the government decided to extend the deadline for Hajj applications by ten days until December 22. The decision was taken after it failed to secure sufficient applications within the initially set timeframe. In a bid to attract more applications, the government has taken various steps, including the introduction of short-term Hajj options and allowing women to undertake the sacred journey without a male guardian.

Source: Pro Pakistani