Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Senator Talha Mehmood, declared that the government has decided to return 12 billion rupees to the pilgrims as part of the Hajj refund scheme. Each pilgrim will receive a refund of 97 thousand rupees, with the process set to begin on Monday.

During a press conference held in Islamabad, Senator Talha Mehmood outlined the refund details. He stated that 22,600 pilgrims who were unable to secure accommodations in Mina and did not avail of the training facility will be reimbursed at a rate of 21,000 rupees per person. Similarly, an additional amount of 14,000 rupees per person will be refunded to 18,000 pilgrims residing outside Madinah.

Expressing his concern over the private Hajj scheme operation, the Federal Minister expressed disappointment at the harassment faced by pilgrims who were charged exorbitant amounts, up to twenty-five lakh rupees. He emphasized that complaints against such tour operators will be heard immediately, and legal action will be taken against negligent parties.

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Senator Talha Mehmood revealed that the Hajj 2023 operation is nearing completion, with the final flight scheduled to depart on August 2. Subsequently, preparations for Hajj 2024 will commence promptly. For the next year, Pakistan has been allocated a quota of 179,210 pilgrims. The government aims to make next year’s Hajj more affordable and reduce the hardships faced by the pilgrims.

He acknowledged that the appreciation of the dollar against the rupee has led to increased Hajj expenses, but the government has managed to keep the cost reasonable. This year, over 160,000 Pakistanis have been fortunate to perform the blessed journey of Hajj.

Regarding the current refund process, Senator Talha Mehmood mentioned that the government has already refunded 55 thousand rupees per person to the pilgrims of the government scheme. Now, all government scheme pilgrims will receive a total reimbursement of 97 thousand rupees per person.

In conclusion, the Federal Minister specified that an additional 14,000 rupees per person will be provided to 18,000 pilgrims residing outside the center in Madinah. Furthermore, 22,600 Pakistani pilgrims who encountered accommodation issues in Mina and were deprived of the training facility will receive an extra 21 thousand rupees per person as part of the refund.

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