The ratio of Hajj applications submitted under the government scheme has been very low, as only 7,000 pilgrims have shown interest from all over the country in six days.
According to sources in the Religious Affairs Ministry, the number of Hajj applications received so far has been far below expectations.
Under the sponsorship scheme, the quote for Hajj pilgrims is 25,000 seats on a first-come, first-served basis. However, only 400 applications received been received so far.
Only nine days are left for submitting Hajj applications, as the last date for submission is December 12.
About 65,000 Pakistanis will be able to perform Hajj under the official regular Hajj scheme. However, applications have yet to be submitted for 58,000 seats, as per the sources.
Designated banks across the country started receiving Hajj applications under the official scheme from November 27.
Next year, it is said, 89,605 Pakistanis will be able to perform the annual pilgrimage under the government scheme. If more applications than the prescribed number are received, a lucky draw will be held.
Moreover, women will be able to perform Hajj without a mehram for the first time. Applications are being accepted under valid Pakistani passports till December 16. For those who have applied for passports or for an extension, they can apply on the token received from the passport office.
Under the sponsorship scheme, 25,000 pilgrims who submit applications in dollars will be exempted from the lucky draw.