Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has announced reduction in the airfares for Hajj 2016; the move has been made according to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s directives. Passengers travelling from Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot and Peshawar will have to pay Rs. 95,000 for the Hajj flight.

Passengers travelling from Sukkur, Quetta and Karachi will be paying Rs. 86,000 inclusive of taxes, cutting the fares by almost Rs. 4000.

Suhail Amir, the Religious Affairs Secretary gave a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee upon Religious Affairs;

“A total of 143,368 Pakistanis will perform Hajj this year at a cost of Rs. 264, 851 per person compared to the Rs. 264,971 charged last year.” he said.

The government had before informed the Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs that Hajj fares’ cost will be lessened by Rs. 120 per individual in 2016. Hajj Policy 2016 Draft will be provided for approval to the federal cabinet by next week.

Suhail Amir disclosed the following to the committee; “The ministry will start receiving applications from April 4th and the final balloting will be held on April 17th.”

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Suhail Amir informed the committee that 60% of the Hajj pilgrims will be performing the ritual of Hajj under the scheme by the government this year.

According to the drafts policy, Hajj flights will be leaving from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Karachi, Lahore, Rahim Yar Khan, Sukkur and Peshawar.

Airlines partaking in the Hajj operation are PIA, Shaheen Air, Saudi Airlines and Air Blue.

Senate Standing Committee Members were critical regarding the timing of the draft policy; it criticized the fact how the government can gather applications from April 4th even though the policy has still not been approved.

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