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Saudi Arabia makes bio-metric verification mandatory for Hajj Pilgrims

Saudi Authorities have made biometric verification mandatory for all Hajj pilgrims.

All the Muslim countries have been notified about the development.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Religious Affairs said that the concerned authorities in Pakistan had been notified and have already started the identification process following Riyadh's directions.

“The bio-metric process has begun in Pakistan today after Riyadh’s instructions regarding the identification,” Imran Siddiqi told the media on Monday.

The measure has been taken to further streamline the verification process that will save pilgrims' time at the time of verification in Riyadh.

“Mostly it takes six to 10 hours for pilgrims to get verified as they stand in long queues throughout the day.” But from now on, they will only have to get stamps on their passports saving the pilgrims time.

Local newspaper Express Tribune quoted Siddiqi saying that the process is being done free of cost this year.

The spokesperson said he has directed visa service centres in the country to conduct the bio-metric verification for all  applicants, adding that the children younger than eight years and the elders over 80 years of age are exempted from this process.

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