Mina Tragic incident discussed at Senate

ISLAMABAD: The ‘carelessness of Saudi authorities’ during the Mina stampede, which had resulted in the death of more than 700 pilgrims, was strongly criticised by some Senators in the Upper House of Parliament on Monday.

Senator Usman Kakar, strongly criticised Saudi officials over “their failure to facilitate pilgrims despite earning billions of dollars”. He also blamed Saudi officials for their ‘carelessness’.

Minister of State for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Aminul Hasnat Shah updated the Senate regarding the details of the Mina stampede.

Shah said that as soon as the stampede occurred officials of Pakistan Haj commission had managed to rescue 23 people, who were shifted to the Pakistani High Commission for medical treatment. He added that Saudi security personnel later arrived at the scene and cordoned off the Pakistani High Commission, preventing its staff from carrying out further rescue efforts.

Shah expressed the hope that Saudi Government would share facts which would emerge after investigation of the incident.

The state minister claimed that the number of Pakistani pilgrims martyred in the stampede stood at 76 while 47 are reported injured.

Shah further said that there are still sixty Pakistani pilgrims who are missing and their data is available with the ministry. He added that the data could be presented in the House if needed.

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