ISLAMABAD: Designated bank branches in Pakistan will remain open on Saturday and Sunday as Pakistan continues to receive applications for next year’s Hajj, Pakistani state media reported on Saturday.
The Pakistani religious affairs ministry invited Hajj 2024 applications under the government’s scheme from November 27 and the process will continue till December 12.
The quota for Pakistanis performing the pilgrimage under the government’s scheme next year is 89,605, with the pilgrimage expected to cost Rs1,075,000 [$3,769] per person.
“The designated banks will remain open on Saturday and Sunday for the receipt of Hajj applications,” the state-run Radio Pakistani broadcaster reported, quoting a religious affairs ministry spokesperson.
Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage in practice for over 1,400 years, is one of the five pillars of Islam, and requires every adult Muslim to undertake a journey to the holy Islamic sites in Makkah at least once in their lifetime (if they are financially and physically able).
This year, Saudi Arabia has also included Karachi in its Makkah Route Initiative, following successful operations in Islamabad. The initiative allows pilgrims performing Hajj under the government scheme the convenience of undergoing all immigration requirements to enter Saudi Arabia from their home countries’ airports.
Applicants for next year’s Hajj would also not be required to submit COVID-19 immunization certificates as the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease no longer a public health emergency.