PESHAWAR, 15 May: The names of 68,000 Pakistani pilgrims who will perform Haj this year through the government scheme have been finalised through a lucky draw.

Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf supervised the draw in Islamabad yesterday. The minister said on the occasion that over 269,000 applications were received for Haj this year. Mr Yousaf said the successful candidates can see their names on the official website of the Ministry of Religious Affairs. He said the successful applicants will also get a congratulatory SMS.

143,000 Pakistanis will perform Haj this year. Half of pilgrims will perform Haj through government scheme, while the remaining pilgrims will go for Haj though private arrangements.

The Haj operation will start from 16 August.

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