Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar on Thursday announced that the government was planning to accept all the applications of intending pilgrims without balloting. Addressing a press conference along with Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Mufti Abdul Shakoor, he said that as many as 72,869 applications were received under the government’s regular scheme against the quota of 44,190. He said that finance ministry plans to accept all application of Hujjaj under the guidance of Prime Minister, Mian Shehbaz Sharif and desire of ministry of Religious Affairs. Ishaq Dar said that the extra foreign exchange reserve for Hujjaj will be provided on the direction of PM Shehbaz Sharif and with the support State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). He urged that intended pilgrim should pray for progress and prosperity of Pakistan so we could again achieved our past glory. Meanwhile, Lahore’s Management Directorate on Thursday announced that the training of Hajj pilgrims would commence from April 28, with the Hajj flight operation beginning next month. This follows the recent announcement of the Hajj policy by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which includes arrangements for the training and awareness of Hajj rituals for all pilgrims. Approximately 180,000 pilgrims from across Pakistan, including Lahore, were expected to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj this year. In accordance with the new policy, the ministry of religious affairs allocated a 50 percent quota to private travel agencies. Director of Hajj Lahore, Iqrar Ahmed, stated that the training program for 28,000 pilgrims in Lahore, Sialkot, and Faisalabad would commence from April 28. Hajj flights from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia would begin in May. The government assured that all necessary measures would be taken to ensure the safe and comfortable journey of the pilgrims.