Tuesday, 12 February 2019
source: shiitenews

The Additional Secretary of Ministry of Religious Affairs Akbar Sharif told the Senate Standing Committee on Interior of the plan to develop a concrete mechanism for regulating the visits of Zaireen (Shia pilgrims) to the holy places on the pattern of Hajj pilgrims in order to resolve their problems on permanent basis.
that his ministry held meetings with all relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provincial governments, and security officials for devising a Hajj-like mechanism to avert problems faced by Shia pilgrims who visit holy places in Iran, Iraq and other countries.
Sharif said this when the committee presided over by Senator Rehman Malik expressed concern over stopping of 1,200 Zaireen at Pak-Iran border. The Ministry of Religious Affairs will finalise mechanism to deal with the problems of Zaireen within the next few months, he added.
A senior official of the Ministry of Interior told that Zaireen obtain visa for visiting holy places through tour operators. The Ministry of Interior has contacted the provincial governments but they did not have data of tour operators who arrange visas for Zaireen, he said, adding that now the federal government is devising mechanism to make a database of tour operators.
Malik said legislation should be made for Zaireen on the lines of Hajj, adding that the Ministry of Interior should make additional arrangements for them.
He told that he on Thursday last took a suo motu notice of the issue of 1,200 Zaireen stranded at Pak-Iran border Taftan, Balochistan. He told that he was informed around 1,200 pilgrims have been stranded at the Iran-Pakistan border for the last two weeks due to lack of security needed to escort their buses to Quetta.

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