Committee set up to prevent Haj irregularities -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Committee set up to prevent Haj irregularities

ISLAMABAD: The government has set up a high-level committee to prevent possible irregularities and mismanagement during Haj operations.The `Prevention Committee on Haj’ has been formed under Section 33C of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 in the wake of a large number of complaints and scams which surfaced over the past several years.

“The purpose of the committee is to assist the ministry of religious affairs in preparing policies, rules and regulations and criterion for Haj regulators to ensure meritocracy, fair play and transparency so that Haj pilgrims and other people are helped in an efficient manner,” NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal said.

The committee comprises officials from ministries of religious affairs, foreign affairs, interior, finance, law, justice and parliamentary affairs and PIA, Saudi Airlines, Cabinet Division and representatives of Haj operators.

The first meeting of the committee will be held on July 31 at NAB’s headquarters.

The spokesman said that committee would give short-term and long-term recommendations to streamline the Haj operations. “Short-term recommendations will be given before the coming Haj 2012 and long-term recommendations will be given later,” he said.

The official said that the recommendations requiring amendments to laws would be referred to the federal cabinet and others needing administrative changes would be sent to the ministry of religious Affairs for action.

The committee will prepare recommendations in consultation with the ministry of religious affairs and other stakeholders pertaining to the issues of policy making and its implementation, Haj organisers’ registration, hiring of buildings in Saudi Arabia, booking and ticketing system, including preparation of passports, awareness campaigns, and all other matters relating to Haj and Ziarat.

Final recommendations would be submitted to NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari who would send it to the quarters concerned for implementation.

Dawn