Ministry restrained from collecting Haj compensation fund


The Lahore High Court on Wednesday restrained Ministry of Religious Affairs from collecting Rs 5, 000 as Haj compensation fund from each pilgrim through Haj Organisation Association of Pakistan and private tour operators.

The court also sought details of Haj package being provided to pilgrims by old tour operators and observed that the Ministry should seek affidavit from tour operators about facilities to pilgrims.

Petitioner’s counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique argued that all tour operators companies were collecting Rs 5000 as compensation fund from every pilgrim and their applications are not accepted in case of non-payment of this fund.

The court put a query to Additional Attorney General (AAG) as to why the government had not taken action against tour operators banned by Saudi Arabian government for providing poor facilities to pilgrims. AAG replied that government is conducting investigation against such companies. He said Rs.540 million were available in Haj Fund but the Supreme Court had frozen it in the wake of Haj scandal. The court deferred hearing till June 18th.