Saturday September 23, 2023

PBSA files plea in IHC against refraining scout leaders from serving Haj pilgrims

June 08, 2023

KARACHI: Pakistan Boys Scouts Association has filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court against the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ decision of refraining scout leaders from serving the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. The ministry had approved the names of 40 scout leaders to serve in Saudi Arabia and they were also trained in Islamabad from May 1 to May 15. Besides, they were also provided kits and instructed to get government passports. For this purpose, a list was issued to the passport office which included the names of 37 reporting scout leaders. After completion of all these matters, the scout leaders were sent back to their cities and asked to wait.

Later, the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association was informed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs that it did not send volunteer scout leaders to Saudi Arabia as per government policy and the ministry would send only government employees. It should be noted that volunteer scout leaders have been serving in Saudi Arabia since 1981. Given the situation, there is a possibility that the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association will withdraw the services of more than 400 scout leaders who are serving in Haji camps across the country. Hussain Awan Officer for Policy Wing Ministry of Religious Affairs said that Non Government Scout Volunteers have been stopped because it is the policy that only government employees will go as volunteers and this policy has been approved by the Cabinet. He said that it was misused in the past and now only government employees will be able to go to Saudi Arabia as volunteers.