No balloting for Haj this year, says federal minister
KARACHI: There will be no balloting of Haj applications this year and they will be processed on a “first-come-first-serve basis,” Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Ejazul Haq told reporters on Thursday.
Haq was the chief guest at a national bilingual debate competition, organised by the Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education. The minister said the proposed changes in the Haj policy would be sent to the prime minister for approval. He said that 150,000 Pakistanis would be performing Haj and the quota for the private sector would be increased from 55,000 to 60,000.
However, Haq clarified that the policy previously approved by the cabinet applied to a five-year period and “therefore, there is no need for proposing such a policy before the cabinet every year.”
On other issues, he said that the Quran’s translation could not be published without the Arabic text under the Quran Act of 1973. He said that additions made to a translation published abroad were ‘misleading readers,” adding, “The department has informed the Home and Customs Departments and the provincial governments that such translations will be confiscated and not be allowed entry into Pakistan.” He said action against the author of the translation would be taken after an investigation.
The minister also said he would be visiting Saudi Arabia to discuss matters regarding to Umrah arrangements. He added that complaints had been filed against 14 of the 269 private tour operators for misusing the package and they would not be granted permission this year. app