ISLAMABAD - The use of biometric system for private Haj pilgrims intending to go to perform Haj through private scheme have been made mandatory, said official sources of Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony. Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony would inform intending pilgrims through phone or SMS to ensure biometric verification  before submitting their passports for the issuance of visa.  In Pakistan, Saudi government has selected a company named “Aitmaad” for the biometric verification of the pilgrims.

Meanwhile, the ministry will pay Rs 500,000 each to the heirs of a pilgrim of Government Haj Scheme in case of death and Rs 150,000 in case of accidental disability of one limb during the Haj in Saudi Arabia. According to Haj Policy 2018, Rs 250,000 each will be paid to Haji on permanent disability of more than one limb and Rs 300,000 in case of emergency evacuation of pilgrim from Saudi Arabia due to illness.

He said ministry will continue Haj Mohafiz Scheme for risk management under Takaful to compensate the affected Hujjaj/nominee of the deceased Hujjaj in current year Hajj season. Each Haji/ member of Welfare Staff would be required to contribute a non-refundable amount of Rs 500 into the scheme. The said scheme would compensate Hujjaj/welfare staff against the losses.