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ICCI calls for withdrawal of biometrics system for Umrah November 21, 2014
Meeting at ICCI
M. Shakeel Munir, Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called upon the Government of Pakistan to take up the matter with the Saudi Government for urgent withdrawal of biometrics system being enforced for Pakistani Umrah goers as it will create lot of difficulties for them. 
He said this while talking to a delegation of Travel Agents Association of Pakistan (TAAP) during its visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The delegation was comprised of Rana Gafoor Ex-Chairman, Zahid Saleem Ex-Chairman, Ch. Muhammad Tariq Chairman FATA, Muhammad Iqbal Ex-Chairman, Zahid Zaman Khan President FATA and Sardar Muhammad Amir General Secretary FATA of Travel Agents Association of Pakistan.
M. Shakeel Munir said that the same condition was reportedly imposed by the Saudi government on the citizens of India, Bangladesh and Iran, but the governments of these countries refused to accept the same and resultantly the Saudi government had to withdraw it. He said our government should immediately take up this matter with Saudi authorities to save its Umrah goers from unnecessary troubles.
The delegation said that Saudi government has awarded contract to a company to process Umrah visas in Pakistan after biometrics. They were afraid that a single company would not be able to handle over 800,000 annual Umrah visa applications due to which many Pakistanis would be deprived of the opportunity to proceed for Umrah. They stressed that our authorities should approach the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad for reconsideration of this condition.
ICCI Acting President said that large number of Pakistanis from all over the country go for Umrah every year and making them & their family members to go through biometrics at Islamabad would put them into lot of difficulties as they would have to wait in long queues for giving thump impressions on biometrics machine. He said Saudi government had every right to introduce any system for the visa seekers, however, the biometrics should not be imposed forcefully. 
He said if it was not possible for Saudi authorities to take back this condition, then the Suadi Embassy should install biometrics machines at all international departures of Pakistani airports to facilitate the Umrah goers.  

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