LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday directed Ministry Of Religious Affairs to submit reply in a petition seeking implementation of a court order regarding discrimination treatment with Shia pilgrims in Hajj process.

Justice Ayesha A Malik heard the case and adjourned further hearing till today.

On April 1, 2016, the ministry of religious affairs undertook before the LHC to amend a question, which offended Shia community, in Hajj application form from “Are you Shia?” to “Do you require Shia facilities?”.

A deputy attorney general submitted the undertaking in the court on behalf of Hajj Secretary during hearing of petition and questioned the alleged discrimination with Shia community in Hajj process.

Syed Ali Hadi filed the petition through his counsel Barrister Maqsooma Zahra Bokhari and submitted that the authorities at the ministry had been committing contempt of court by violating its undertaking. The petitioner’s counsel argued that Shia pilgrims continued to face discriminatory treatment at the hands of the ministry on account of facilities.

The counsel submitted that Shia women were being discriminated in the name of “Mehram”. The petitioner pointed out that online system of the ministry had not been accepting application of any Shia woman wanted to perform hajj without “Mehram” whether she was aged 45, 85 or 16 years old or whatever Fiqh she belonged to.

The counsel prayed the court to direct the ministry to facilitate Shia pilgrims as per their Fiqh and order it to allocate special quota for them.