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MANSEHRA: Judicial Commission of Pakistan member Shahjehan Khan Swati has demanded abolition of Haj quota for private tour operators accusing them not providing pilgrims with the promised facilities in Saudi Arabia.

“Hajis are deceived by private tour operators. I will take up this issue at the commission,” he told reporters at the Mansehra Press Club on Monday.

Mr Swati, who returned from Saudi Arabia after performing Haj, said he was companied by the high court judges, who were denied the facilities promised by tour operators during the pilgrimage despite payment of huge sums of money.

He said 90 per cent of the private tour operators promised pilgrims outstanding accommodation, tents, meal and transport service during Haj but the promises turned out to be false.

JCP member insists most pilgrims don’t get promised facilities in Saudi Arabia

Mr Swati, who is also a member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council, said the newly- elected PTI government had promised to eliminate corruption, it should also crack down corrupt elements in the ministry of religious affairs.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan should take note of the ‘mafia’ cheating Hajis by not offering the promises facilities in Saudi Arabia.

The JCP member said the entire Haj quota allocated by the Saudi government for Pakistanis should be consumed by the government Haj scheme, which was reliable and affordable.

“Private tour operators receive from Rs0.6 million to Rs1 million from a Haji but the services provided by them to pilgrims are much less than the government Haj scheme’s offered at Rs280,000 per Haji,” he said.

Mr Swati said if the need arose, he would move the court to seek abolition of Haj quota for private tour operators.

ELECTROCUTION: The district administration has banned the people from laying live electric wires in agricultural fields to check the growing incidents of electrocution.

The ban was imposed by deputy commissioner Mohammad Zubair through an official notification on Monday.

Farmers of many areas of Mansehra are seen lay live electric wires in fields to keep pigs from destroying crops.

Last week, a man died after touching a live electric wire in fields in Lassan Thakral village.

He had fled the police’s custody. His body was recovered by the police next day.

The growers of Tanawal and other areas of Mansehra district said pigs destroyed standing crops and that their repeated requests to the department for help in that respect fell on deaf ears.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018