Pakistan starts Hajj application process

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KARACHI: The application process under the government’s newly-announced Hajj Scheme has begun.

A total of 14 branches of designated banks will collect the applications till March 6.

The designated banks for submitting applications include: Habib Bank Limited, United Bank Limited, National Bank of Pakistan, Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) Limited, Allied Bank Limited, Bank of Punjab, Meezan Bank, Bank Al-Falah, Bank Al-Habib, Zarai Taraqiati Bank, Faysal Bank, Habib Metro Bank Limited, Askari Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank.

The automated polling to select over 100,000 Hajj aspirants will be held on March 8.

The newly-announced Hajj policy will require intending pilgrims to pay Rs 436,975 and Rs 19,451 as voluntary charges for sacrificial animals.

Only applicants who have not performed Hajj under the Government Hajj Scheme for the last five years would be entertained.

This limitation would not apply to the mehram of a female or those who wish to avail the private Hajj scheme.

Female pilgrims of any age (under 45 in the case of Fiqah Jafria female pilgrims) are expected to be accompanied by a mehram as per the Saudi requirements.