144,000 Pakistanis to perform Hajj this year

JEDDAH: According to a pact signed between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, 144,000 Pakistani nationals would perform Hajj pilgrim in 2015.

The pact was signed here between Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yousuf and Saudi Minister for Hajj Dr Bandar Bin Hajjar on Thursday.

According to the agreement, 71,684 Pakistani pilgrims would visit the holy sites in Saudi Arabia under official arrangements while 72,316 would travel privately.

The 20 per cent official cut in Hajj quota would still prevail this year. Machine readable passport and vaccinations to prevent from viral diseases are also declared compulsory for the travel.

The pact has declared obligatory a male companion with all women less than 45 years of age.

Meanwhile, Aab-e-Zam Zam (sacred water) would not be allowed on return as 5 litre per pilgrim would be arranged on Hajj flights by the oraganisers.