The Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Mufti Abdul Shakoor, announced the dates for the acceptance of Hajj applications 2023 during an official press conference after the approval of the Hajj Policy 2023 by the federal cabinet. According to the announcement, the process for submitting Hajj applications will begin on March 16 and end on March 31. The draw for Hajj applications will take place in the first week of April. The Minister urged interested applicants to keep their required documents ready beforehand to avoid any inconvenience.

Mufti Abdul Shakoor also shared the estimated costs of Hajj from different regions in Pakistan and explained that the cost has increased due to the global recession and the depreciation of the Pakistani Rupee. He also announced a sponsorship scheme that has been approved, which will provide $194 million out of the $284 million required for the successful execution of this year’s Hajj scheme. The Minister assured applicants that in case of savings from the Hajj package, the pilgrims would be refunded via bank accounts provided by them, while those in the sponsorship Hajj scheme with no bank account would be refunded in cash.

In addition to the announcement of the Hajj application process and the estimated costs, Mufti Abdul Shakoor shared that train facilities in Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat will be available for pilgrims this year, but they will have to pay for this service themselves. The Minister also shared that 179,210 people would perform Hajj this year, and the quota will be divided into public and private Hajj schemes with a ratio of 50% each. Furthermore, the minister added that 50% of the quota of public and private Hajj schemes, which is 44,802 seats in each, will be reserved for the sponsorship Hajj scheme, and the registrations will be stopped once all quotas are filled.