Ministry of Religious Affairs requests SC to combine cases against Haj policy

The Ministry of Religious Affairs on Wednesday approached the Supreme Court, requesting it to combine the multiple cases it is facing regarding the 2018 Haj policy.
According to sources within the ministry, it has asked the court to combine all the cases and hear them in the Islamabad High Court. The ministry is currently facing cases in the Lahore High Court and Sindh High court regarding its Haj policy.
Petitions filed in both the courts had declared that the new Haj policy, which prevents individuals from performing the pilgrimage more than once within a stipulated period of time, is against the Sharia.
As a result of these petitions, the courts had ordered that the Haj Lucky Draw 2018, which was to be held on January 26, be postponed until the matter is resolved.
Lahore High Court had ordered the Ministry of Religious Affairs to stop conducting balloting of 17 per cent quota of the government Haj scheme.
According to ministry officials, the new date for the draw will be announced soon.
While many pilgrims from Pakistan avail the services of private companies to look after their travel and stay in Saudi Arabia, thousands apply for the annual government scheme that entails a lucky draw, keeping this in mind, this year the government Haj quota was increased to 67 per cent.