Pakistan’s Dawn News reported that the incident took place in Multan, Pakistan’s Punjab province, and 16 people were arrested by the police at the airport. The arrested had obtained visas of Saudi Arabia in the guise of Hajj pilgrims. During the investigation, it came to know that his intention was not to beg in the Gulf country.
11 women, four men and 1 child are among the 16 arrested. All of them had left Pakistan for Saudi Arabia under Umrah visa. Umrah visa is given to Islamic religious pilgrims. Under this visa, pilgrims can visit Mecca, the holiest religious site of Muslims. Umrah visa can be obtained for Hajj at any time of the year. People in Pakistan, which is in financial trouble, are misusing the Umrah visa, and under this visa, they go to Saudi Arabia and earn money by begging.
The 16 who were traveling to Saudi Arabia were initially interrogated by immigration officials at the airport. At this time, the detainees admitted that they were going to Saudi Arabia to beg. They don’t beg for a percentage of the money they earn. The accused have also revealed that 50% of the money should be given to the agent who is sending them there. Through this investigation, it has also been revealed that a team of middlemen is operating to send people from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia to beg for alms.
The government of Pakistan has also investigated and confirmed that the network of people who illegally send their countrymen abroad for begging is active. Pakistani nationals are going as pilgrims not only to Saudi Arabia but also to many Middle Eastern countries. People who go on pilgrimage are called Ziarat. These people, who claim to be pilgrims, obtain Umrah visas from Saudi Arabia. As soon as they set foot in Saudi, they start begging.
In Saudi Arabia, beggars are caught and thrown in jail. A large number of those imprisoned in this way are Pakistani nationals.