Compensation package for pilgrims

28

THE Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has announced to pay Rs 500,00 each to the heirs of a pilgrim in case of death and Rs 150,000 in case of accidental disability of one limb during the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Similarly, Rs 250,000 each will be paid to the pilgrim on permanent disability of more than one limb and Rs 300,000 in case of emergency evacuation of pilgrim from Saudi Arabia due to illness.
This is yet another appreciable measure taken by present government during its tenure to facilitate pilgrims. Hajj is the biggest annual exercise and as far as Pakistan is concerned it involves about two hundred thousand people every year, who are exposed to many risks due to multiple factors. Though due to comprehensive arrangements and improvements carried out by the Saudi government, Hajj is much safer today than before but still there are risks of serious accidents as we witnessed in Haram Sharif besides traffic accidents and incidents of fire. Similarly, despite streamlining of arrangements by the Kingdom for stoning of the devil, stampede occurs leading to casualties and injuries. Again, many pilgrims from Pakistan are old age and infirm and they catch infectious diseases, which sometimes, prove serious for them. With this in view, the compensation package announced by the government would help mitigate woes and difficulties of the heirs of those who pass away during performance of Hajj. This is particularly so in the case of those who are the only earning members of the family and the compensation would help lessen their woes to some extent. We hope that the process for payment of compensation would be simple and people would not be made to run from pillar to post to receive their claims. As the Ministry deals with all aspects of the Hajj operation, it should not be difficult to keep the process trouble-free.