Sindh Governor Confirms Free Hajj For Senior Citizens
Citizens of Pakistan, particularly those aged over 75, can benefit from a special offer announced by the Sindh Governor, Kamran Khan Tessori. The government, as per the governor’s announcement during a visit to Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad (SGHL), will cover the expenses for Hajj and Umrah for individuals in this age group. Tessori explained that a ballot would be conducted to select successful applicants who haven’t previously performed the holy pilgrimage.
To partake in this opportunity, those interested in the spiritual obligation should register with the Governor House. Subsequently, after the balloting process, selected individuals would be sent to the holy mosques for Hajj and Umrah. However, the governor did not specify whether this offer is exclusive to residents of Sindh or open to individuals from across the country. Furthermore, details about whether the applicants would be sent for the upcoming Hajj or the one scheduled in 2025 remain undisclosed.
In terms of the regular Hajj, the government has already completed the balloting process, and preparations with the Saudi Arabian government are in the final stages. Official figures indicate that 69,438 applicants applied for the upcoming Hajj under the government scheme. After the balloting, 5,633 unsuccessful applicants have been placed on the waiting list. These individuals could potentially be selected on merit if any successful applicants withdraw their applications. The total number of seats allocated to Pakistan for the upcoming Hajj is around 180,000, including seats for private Hajj operators.
The authorities have introduced a Short Hajj package for pilgrims, and the Sponsorship Scheme is also valid for this year. For the Long Hajj, encompassing 38-42 days with an 8-day stay in Medina, individuals from the South region (Karachi and Sukkur) would pay Rs 10,65,000, while those from other cities (Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabad) would pay Rs 10,75,000.
Under the Sponsorship Scheme, the cost is $3765 for the South Region and $3800 for the North Region for those opting for the Long Hajj package. For the Short Hajj package, the cost for regular Hajj applicants is Rs 11,40,000 for the South region and Rs 11,50,000 for the North region. The Hajj duration would be 20-25 days under this scheme. For the Sponsorship Scheme, the cost for Short Hajj is $4015 USD for the South region and $4050 for the North region.