ISLAMABAD - The federal government on Tuesday announced names of over 107,526 successful applicants for Hajj-2019.

Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri performed computerised balloting for the Hajj. The successful candidates would be informed through SMS. The applicants, who could not succeed over the past three years, have been declared successful this time without balloting. Speaking to reporters, the minister said the government received 2,000 applications by persons aged 80 to 90 years. He said two assistants each would be sent with elderly woman pilgrims.

He said that on the whole, 216623 applications were received; 123,700 male applicants and 92,923 female applicants. Qadri said the highest number of applications were received from Punjab i.e. 108,006.

From Sindh, 49,343 applications were received, 40,752 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10,258 from Balochistan, 2,316 applications from Azad Kashmir, 4,314 from tribal districts of KP and 2,422 from Gilgit-Baltistan.

This year, 184,210 Pakistanis will perform Hajj of which 107,526 will perform the pilgrimage under the government scheme and 71,684 under private scheme. According to the 2019 Hajj policy, intending pilgrims had to pay Rs 436,975 and Rs19,451 as optional charges for sacrificial animals.

The minister announced the name of the first successful applicant from Karachi; Waseem Ahmed, Second from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Khushdil Khan and third from Islamabad; Muhammad Shah Nawaz Khan. The cost of Hajj has gone up by Rs157,000 this year. The result has been uploaded on the website of the religious affairs ministry and applicants will be informed via SMS too.