ISLAMABAD - The government of Pakistan has revealed the official schedule for the first Hajj flights from different cities of the country.
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Senator Talha Mehmood said that Pakistan will start the Hajj flights operation from May 21.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the lawmaker said the first Hajj flight will depart from Karachi and Islamabad on May 21. A spokesperson for the ministry added that the first Hajj flight from Lahore will depart on the same day.
Moreover, the first Hajj flight from Sialkot will depart on May 22nd while from Multan it will take off on May 23rd; the first Hajj flight will depart from Quetta on May 24th.
For Rahim Yar Khan, the first Hajj flight will depart on June 6, and from Sukkur, it will take off on June 7. The last Hajj flights from Pakistan will depart on June 20.
Senator Talha, who is overseeing the Hajj operation said that the government will bear the cost of sacrifice on behalf of the pilgrims for those who have applied under the government scheme.
“The cost of the sacrifice is about Rs53,000 rupees, which has been included in the Hajj expenses,” he clarified.
As far as the channel of communication is concerned, pilgrims are informed about the flights through the website and SMS. Moreover, the preventive vaccination against hepatitis flu and polio vaccine in the pilgrim camps has also started.
Pakistan’s quota for Hajj 2023 is 179,210 pilgrims. It is to be highlighted that 50 percent quota had been reserved for the Sponsorship Scheme which is a special facility given to Hajj pilgrims seeking foreign exchange from abroad in the specific dollar account of the religious affairs ministry.
The government has announced that no balloting would take place for intending Hajj pilgrims this year as the number of applicants falls short of the quota made available to Pakistan.
For this year, the government had set Hajj expenses at Rs1.175 million per pilgrim, 68% more than the last year's expenses which apparently became a reason for many of the Muslims to avoid performing the ritual amid skyrocketing inflation.
As far as the flight operation is concerned, the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had announced that its pre-Hajj operation would begin on May 21 and continue till August 12 during which it would take 38,000 pilgrims to the Holy land.
PIA has announced to charge fares in US dollars for the second year in a row and fixed the fares for pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia under the private Hajj scheme from $870 to $1180 for the Southern region that includes Karachi, Quetta, Sukkur, Hyderabad.
It is noteworthy that this is the first time Saudi Arabia would be welcoming pilgrims in large numbers i.e around 2.3m after the pandemic restrictions have been lifted. Around one million people joined the 2022 Hajj season and only those in the age bracket 18 to 65 who were fully vaccinated or immunized against the virus and did not suffer from chronic diseases were allowed to visit the kingdom
Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against the US dollar, and other currencies in the open market on Saturday.
On Saturday, the US dollar was being quoted at 283.4 for buying and 285.95 for selling.
Euro comes down to 307 for buying and 310 for selling. British Pound rate remains unchanged at 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.
Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||358.5||362|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.37||36.72|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||175.33||177.33|
Gold prices witnessed negative trend in local markets in line with the trend in the international market.
On Saturday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,600, and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,560.
Single tola of 22 Karat Gold price costs Rs199,465, 21 karat rate per tola costs Rs190, 400 and 18k gold rate is Rs163,200.00 for each tola.
In the global market, gold prices hovers around $2,004 per ounce, after drop of $23.35 on Saturday.
|Lahore||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Karachi||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Islamabad||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Peshawar||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Quetta||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Sialkot||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Attock||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Gujranwala||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Jehlum||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Multan||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Gujrat||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Nawabshah||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Chakwal||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Hyderabad||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Nowshehra||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Sargodha||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Faisalabad||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Mirpur||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|