The Federal Cabinet of Pakistan has granted approval to amendments in the Hajj Policy for the year 2024. Under these revisions, the sponsorship quota for unused slots in both government and private schemes will be returned to the Saudi Arabian government.
In accordance with Saudi government regulations, a comprehensive monitoring system for the financial management of Hajj organizers will be implemented.
Additionally, the new Hajj policy allows individuals under the age of 10 to fulfill the pilgrimage obligation.
Private Hajj schemes will now have flexibility regarding the condition of providing service personnel for individuals over 80 years old.
However, Hajj organizers must enter into an agreement with the pilgrim, ensuring the provision of local assistance services during their stay in Saudi Arabia. This clause will be incorporated into the service provision contracts, and any violation may lead to penalties and blacklisting of the Hajj organizer.
Furthermore, the Federal Cabinet has approved a reduction in the quota for the Hardship Category in Hajj. Fifty percent of the quota for local assistants will be reserved for Pakistani students studying in Saudi Arabian universities. These students will be appointed as welfare staff.
In its previous session, the Federal Cabinet had established a committee to propose improvements to the Hajj Policy for 2024. The recommendations of this committee have now been incorporated into the aforementioned amendments, reflecting the government’s commitment to enhancing the Hajj experience and ensuring better oversight.