ISLAMABAD: The Hajj balloting under government hajj scheme has been postponed, which was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on Friday, state-run media reported.
Minister of Religious Affairs, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, in a statement today, said that the step has been taken in view of a writ petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Hajj policy of 2016.
He said the balloting has been postponed to ensure transparency and beyond any suspicions and doubts.
The Ministry received 2,80,617 applications out of which balloting will be held to select 83, 440 applicants.
Earlier on Thursday, the Supreme Court (SC) directed the concerned ministry not to reveal names of selected applicants until the verdict is announced in the case.
A three-member bench headed by acting Chief Justice Saqib Nisar conducted the hearing of the case.
Tour operators‘ lawyers adopted the stance that permission to minimize quota of private operators was not taken from the high-level committee.
On this, the apex court directed the Ministry of Religious Affairs to submit a reply in the next hearing.
It may be mentioned here that the new Hajj policy has proposed 10 percent reduction in Private Hajj quota and 10 percent increase in Government Hajj Scheme but the Hajj operators approached the Supreme Court against the adjustment of quotas. NNI