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The Supreme Court on Wednesday received an application asking the court to intervene and order the government to voice its concern against Saudi Arabia contracting out biometric verification of Haj and Umrah pilgrims to an Indian firm.

On November 3, Saudi Arabia had modified its Haj and Umrah laws to make biometric verification compulsory for pilgrims.

The Saudi government gave the contract for pilgrims' verification to Etimad, an Indian biometric verification firm operating from Dubai.

"Pakistani citizens' data in the hands of an Indian company is a matter of national security," the application, submitted by Nadeem A. Shaikh, read.

The application asked that the chief justice take suo moto notice of the matter and ask the government to step in and play a "positive role".

"If biometric verification is extremely important, the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) should step up to help the Saudi Authorities," the application said.

The application also mentioned that Iran, India, Egypt and Bangladesh have already refused biometric verification of their pilgrims.

The Jamaat-i-Islami's Maqsood Ahmad previously spoke against the imposition of the law saying: "Pakistan has become the only country where biometric verification (of pilgrims) was required."

He had added that it was duty of the government to take the matter up with the Saudis.

Terming it a discriminatory and unjust decision by the Saudi government, he said the rush at the centres verifying biometric data of the intending pilgrims was a proof of the problems that the decision had created for them.

Travel agents all over the country have also protested the new visa law imposed by Saudi Arabia and asked that the Pakistan government should intervene in the matter.