Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony expressed that Pakistan is devoid of any data record maintenance of Umrah pilgrims a well as there is no official dedicated platform for addressing the problems of people who go for Umrah.
An anonymous official told to one of the local newspaper that the government has got no records of the Umrah pilgrims from Pakistan.
He also mentioned that there is no track kept on the people who travel for Umrah from the time they apply for visa till they return back to Pakistan.
He also told that many Umrah pilgrims encounter various kinds of issues during their stay in Saudi Arabia, however, there is no official department to listen to their complaints except for the consulate. The pilgrims have to wait for long hours in order to get their problems registered, acknowledged and solved.
The official also said that the people who go for Umrah via private agents also have no records by the government as their entire procedure is done without the government’s involvement.
He also told in case any problem is encountered by the pilgrims who have gone for Umrah in Saudi Arab there is no official platform for them to get their complaints registered immediately.
The official informed that a parliamentary bill has been introduced by the Ministry of Religious Affairs relating the regulation of Hajj and Umrah services. This bill also includes that legal action should be taken against the private tour operators who defraud the innocent Hajj/Umrah pilgrims.
The bill is currently in doldrums and if gets passed then the Ministry of RA would be getting a directive for keeping records of the Umrah pilgrims which is essential for their security.
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