PESHAWAR, 28 November: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Inayatullah Khan has said the condition of biometric verification for travel to Saudi Arabia for Umrah pilgrims has been imposed only on Pakistan which is unjust.
Talking to media persons on Monday, the minister said thousands of Pakistani citizens intending to go for Umrah to Saudi Arabia have been affected due to the condition of biometric verification and possession of 2,000 Saudi riyals in cash. He said thousands of people have made booking for Umrah this year, but they are facing a lot of difficulties due to imposition of new conditions.
Inayatullah said Saudi Arabia has given the contract of biometric verification to Indian company which means that the data of Pakistanis will be transferred to India directly. He called upon the federal government to take up the matter with the Saudi government on diplomatic level. He also called upon the Saudi government to withdraw the new conditions for Umrah pilgrims to end their difficulties.
The Saudi government had said it will not accept passports without biometric verification after 30 October. However, it extended the deadline till December keeping in view the difficulties of intending pilgrims.