Bal­lot­ing to select 86,021 Hajj ap­pli­cants to­day

SC wants MoRA’s de­tailed re­ply over Hajj pol­icy

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

ISLAMABAD—Com­put­er­ized bal­lot­ing to select 86,021 Hajj ap­pli­cants un­der Gov­ern­ment Hajj Scheme will be held to­day. A spokesper­son of the Min­istry of Re­li­gious Af­fairs while talk­ing to me­dia said that two hun­dred, eighty thou­sand, six hun­dred and seventeen Hu­j­jaj have sub­mit­ted ap­pli­ca­tions un­der this scheme this year. 57,347 pil­grims will per­form Hajj un­der the pri­vate Hajj scheme.

Mean­while it is re­ported that the Supreme Court on Thurs­day di­rected the Min­istry of Re­li­gious Af­fairs (MoRA) to sub­mit re­ply over Hajj pol­icy and con­di­tion­ally al­lowed the min­istry for Hajj bal­lot­ing. The three mem­ber bench of the court headed by Act­ing Chief Jus­tice Mian Saqib Nisar and com­pris­ing Jus­tice Khilji Arif Hus­sain and Jus­tice Iqbal Hamee­dur Rehman heard the case.

The pri­vate Hajj tour op­er­a­tors chal­lenged the gov­ern­ment Hajj pol­icy as their quota was re­duced. It is to men­tion here that the gov­ern­ment had re­duced Hajj tour op­er­a­tors’ quota to 40 per cent in 2011. Dur­ing the course of pro­ceed­ings, the court asked the Re­li­gious Min­istry to hold bal­lot­ing di­rected not to de­clare pil­grims’ names be­fore the ver­dict is an­nounced.

The coun­sel for the tour op­er­a­tors told the court that the per­mis­sion to min­i­mize quota of pri­vate Hajj op­er­a­tors was not taken from high­level com­mit­tee. Jus­tice Khilji Arif Hus­sain asked that why the pol­icy was de­signed at the last mo­ment and not be­fore.

Jus­tice Saqib Nisar re­marked that the court’s or­ders were not kept in view while mak­ing the Hajj pol­icy as de­spite of form­ing the com­mit­tee per­mis­sion was not taken from it for the ap­proval of Hajj pol­icy. Later, the court sought re­ply over Hajj pol­icy and ad­journed hear­ing of the case till May, 2.—APP

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