RAHIM YAR KHAN-The Haj and Umra tour operators on Tuesday protested against the initiation of biometric verification of the Umrah pilgrims by the Saudi government.

Travel Agents Association (TAA) members were holding banners against the biometric verification of pilgrims. Jamil, Azhar Soomro and Mahar Hameed told the reporters that the Saudi government had announced a new policy for Umrah pilgrims which will affect not only their business but also create difficulties for pilgrims.

They said that according to the new policy, a company nominated by Saudi government “Aetmaad” will issue the biometric verification letter to Umrah pilgrims. Initially, the pilgrims have to travel to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad for their verification. It will increase the expense of Umrah pilgrims because they will pay fee for the purpose and bear travel charges before submitting their passports to the travel agents, They said. They further said that all the passports were already issued by Ministry of Interior after biometric process.