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Government Ends 5-Year Ban, Allowing Pilgrims Second Chance for Hajj

5-Year Ban

In a significant move, Pakistan has decided to lift the ban on pilgrims performing Hajj for the second time within a span of five years. Muhammad Umar Butt, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, announced this development, emphasizing that the decision was made in response to requests from individuals who had completed Hajj within the last five years. Butt made the announcement through a video posted on the ministry’s official social media account.

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Butt mentioned that individuals who had previously undertaken the pilgrimage within the specified timeframe sought the opportunity to perform Hajj again under the government scheme. As a result, the ministry opted to lift the ban, demonstrating flexibility in response to the expressed needs of the pilgrims.

In addition to the ban lift, the ministry also extended the deadline for applications for Hajj 2024 under the government scheme by an additional 10 days. This decision was prompted by concerns raised by individuals who faced challenges in obtaining refunds for their deposits. The new deadline for submitting applications is now December 22, providing applicants with more time to complete the process.

Furthermore, the ministry introduced a noteworthy change allowing women to perform Hajj without a male guardian (Muharram). This can be facilitated by obtaining an undertaking from their male guardian and joining a group of trusted women for the pilgrimage, expanding the options for female pilgrims.

Butt also highlighted that Pakistani citizens paying their fees in dollars would now be eligible to register for the government Hajj scheme without participating in the usual balloting process, simplifying the application procedure.

These developments reflect a responsive approach by the Pakistani government to address the concerns and preferences of potential pilgrims, facilitating a more inclusive and accessible Hajj experience for citizens. Overall, Pakistan ends 5-year ban on second Hajj, allowing pilgrims to perform the pilgrimage again, announces Ministry Spokesperson.

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