Balloting to select 86,021 Hajj applicants today

SC wants MoRA’s detailed reply over Hajj policy

Islamabad—Computerized balloting to select 86,021 Hajj applicants under Government Hajj Scheme will be held today. A spokesperson of the Ministry of Religious Affairs while talking to media said that two hundred, eighty thousand, six hundred and seventeen Hujjaj have submitted applications under this scheme this year. 57,347 pilgrims will perform Hajj under the private Hajj scheme.
Meanwhile it is reported that the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) to submit reply over Hajj policy and conditionally allowed the ministry for Hajj balloting. The three member bench of the court headed by Acting Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman heard the case.
The private Hajj tour operators challenged the government Hajj policy as their quota was reduced. It is to mention here that the government had reduced Hajj tour operators’ quota to 40 per cent in 2011. During the course of proceedings, the court asked the Religious Ministry to hold balloting directed not to declare pilgrims’ names before the verdict is announced.
The counsel for the tour operators told the court that the permission to minimize quota of private Hajj operators was not taken from highlevel committee. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain asked that why the policy was designed at the last moment and not before.
Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that the court’s orders were not kept in view while making the Hajj policy as despite of forming the committee permission was not taken from it for the approval of Hajj policy. Later, the court sought reply over Hajj policy and adjourned hearing of the case till May, 2.—APP

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