Pakistan Caretaker Religious Affairs Minister Aneeq Ahmed revealed the results of the Hajj 2024 draw on Thursday, as reported by Pakistani state media. Over 63,000 applicants have been selected for the upcoming pilgrimage through the government scheme.
Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage, mandates every financially and physically capable Muslim adult to undertake a journey to the holy sites in Makkah at least once in their lifetime.
Annually, the Pakistani religious affairs ministry conducts a ballot to choose successful Hajj applicants for this sacred journey.
“Details indicate that 69,438 applications were received under the Regular Hajj Scheme, and 63,805 of them emerged successful in the balloting,” reported the state-run Radio Pakistan, quoting the religious affairs minister. A waiting list of 5,633 unsuccessful applicants has been compiled based on their cities of departure.
Applications for the government’s Hajj sponsorship scheme can be submitted until December 31, as per the Pakistani religious affairs ministry.
Introduced this year, the Hajj sponsorship scheme allows overseas Pakistanis to apply for Hajj or sponsor someone in Pakistan for the journey by paying in US dollars. In return, applicants are exempted from participating in the balloting process for the pilgrimage.
Saudi Arabia reinstated Pakistan’s pre-coronavirus Hajj quota of 179,210 pilgrims this year and lifted the upper age limit of 65 years for performing the pilgrimage.
In 2023, over 81,000 Pakistani pilgrims participated in Hajj under the government scheme, while the remainder opted for private tour operators.