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Hajj 2023: Official date for first Hajj flight from Pakistan announced

09:31 PM | 26 Apr, 2023
Hajj 2023: Official date for first Hajj flight from Pakistan announced

ISLAMABAD – The first Hajj flight from Pakistan for this year's pilgrimage would take off on May 20th, it emerged on Wednesday.

Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Senator Muhammad Talha Mahmood was briefed in this regard by Secretary Religious Affairs Aftab Akbar Durrani who highlighted that the Hajj fight operation would be concluded on June 21.

He further said that the biometric verification of pilgrims would be completed by April 28, while the ministry had sought valid passports of pilgrims by the same date.

The officer apprised that training on Hajj rituals and administrative affairs was being conducted by all ten Haji Camps across the country from Thursday and participation in Hajj training organized at Tehsil and District level was mandatory.

Chairing the meeting, Minister Talha also informed the participants about his recent engagements in Saudi Arabia and directed not to compromise on the provision of facilities to pilgrims.

For Pakistani pilgrims, the deadline for submission of application for this year's Hajj ended on April 9 for Sponsorship Scheme and April 2nd for regular Hajj Scheme. 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. 

Pakistan’s quota for Hajj 2023 is 179,210 pilgrims. It is to be highlighted that 50 percent quota had been reserved for 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.

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 sky rocketing 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 note worthy 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 age bracket 18 to 65 who were fully vaccinated or immunised against the virus and did not suffer from chronic diseases were allowed to visit the kingdom.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, Pound, Riyal Rate in Pakistan Today - Currency Rates 20 July 2024

Pakistani rupee rates against US Dollar and other currencies on July 20, 2024 (Saturday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 279.15 for buying and 280.85 for selling. Euro's buying rate remains stable at 301.35 and selling rate is 303.25.

British Pound rate is 354.85 for buying, and 358.35 for selling. UAE Dirham AED was at 76.5 and Saudi Riyal lowered to 73.70.

Currency Rates Today

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.15 280.85
Euro EUR 301.35 303.25
UK Pound Sterling GBP 354.85 358.35
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.5 77.25
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.7 74.42
Australian Dollar AUD 184.75 186.55
Bahrain Dinar BHD 741.15 749.15
Canadian Dollar CAD 203.5 205.5
China Yuan CNY 38.35 38.75
Danish Krone DKK 40.05 40.45
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 36.05 36.05
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.25 917.35
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.95 59.75
New Zealand Dollar NZD 169.24 171.24
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.04 26.34
Omani Riyal OMR 722.87 730.89
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.39 77.09
Singapore Dollar SGD 202 204
Swedish Korona SEK 26.4 26.7
Swiss Franc CHF 309.05 311.55
Thai Bhat THB 7.5 7.65

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