Pakistan’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Aneeq Ahmed, revealed the upcoming Hajj training schedule for 2024 during a significant meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador, Nawaf Bin Said Al-Malki.
Smooth Performance Emphasized
Discussions between Minister Aneeq Ahmed and Ambassador Al-Malki concluded with a focus on ensuring the smooth execution of Hajj activities, emphasizing the completion of necessary arrangements for the sacred journey.
Comprehensive Training and Biometric Facilities
Aneeq Ahmed conveyed that the Ministry of Religious Affairs is gearing up to unveil a comprehensive Hajj training schedule with biometric facilities for pilgrims. A new feature, the Bio App, will enable Pakistani Hajj pilgrims to complete their Saudi visa biometrics from the comfort of their homes.
Significance of Hajj
Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage with a history spanning over 1,400 years, stands as one of Islam’s five pillars. Every financially and physically capable adult Muslim is obligated to undertake this pilgrimage to the holy Islamic site of Makkah at least once in their lifetime.
Positive Developments in Quota and Age Limit
Saudi Arabia reinstated Pakistan’s pre-coronavirus Hajj quota last year, allowing 179,210 pilgrims to embark on the journey. The age limit for conducting Hajj was also lowered. In 2023, 81,000 Pakistani pilgrims chose the government system, while others opted for commercial trip companies.
Hajj Draw Results
The results of a Hajj 2024 draw in December 2023 revealed that over 63,000 applications were selected for the forthcoming trip under the government plan. The remaining applicants will seek pilgrimage experiences through private travel operators.
Praise for Pakistan’s Preparations
During discussions, Minister Aneeq Ahmed highlighted the substantial preparations made for Hajj in the current year, emphasizing the unique measures implemented for the convenience of Pakistani pilgrims.
Recognition for Coordination and Services
Ambassador Al-Malki congratulated Pakistan for being among the top three nations recognized for the finest coordination and supply of Hajj services. He praised Minister Ahmed for providing excellent facilities for pilgrims and acknowledged the commendable efforts of the Pakistani religious affairs ministry and the Hajj mission in meeting pilgrims’ demands.