More cases of missing pilgrims surface in Karachi

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A woman seeking the whereabouts of her missing husband, a man desperate to reach Saudi Arabia to search for his missing brother by himself, and a young man who lost communication with his parents nearly a week ago were among the families gathered at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday in the hope that they would get some news about the missing pilgrims.

“I never thought that I would sit before the media like this, but I have to when we see no one is there to inform me about the fate or whereabouts of my husband,” said a middle-aged woman who introduced herself as the wife of Abdul Ghani, a resident of Lyari’s Chakiwara neighbourhood, who went missing along with many other Pakistanis in the stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia.

The woman along with a few other families was speaking at the press conference organised by Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid Sindh chapter president Haleem Adil Shaikh at the press club. The families of the missing pilgrims expressed their dismay over the government’s ‘pathetic’ efforts in finding their relatives that left them immensely worried and troubled.

She blamed the government’s attitude towards the victims of the worst national tragedy that according to her forced her family to seek support of the media and others to find out her husband.

Khyber Khan, a resident of Korangi’s 100 Quarters locality, said his family had lost the whereabouts of his father, Yamuddin, and his mother. “Sept 23 was the last day when we spoke to our parents, but since then we have not been able to locate them,” said Mr Khan.

Nawab Khan, son of another pilgrim Haji Mir Zaman who disappeared in the stampede, shared with the media a similar account. “I talked to my father on Sept 23,” the resident of Korangi said, adding that he had since lost communication with his father.

The families said since they found nothing good happening on the part of the government, they wanted to search for their loved ones by themselves. “We cannot leave it on the government that has no concern about their citizens. We want to locate our loved ones by ourselves as the pain we are going through cannot be understood by those who have not lost their family members,” said Shamsuddin, brother of Mir Zaman.

They said whether the government bore expenses of their travel or not, it did not matter, they just wanted emergency visas to go to Saudi Arabia and try to trace their relations. “The helpline is so useless that we have lost huge sums in calls to that facility where officials duly attend the calls but no one is there to respond to our queries,” said Mr Khan.

Haleem Adil Shaikh said efforts by his teams succeeded in finding two pilgrims while they were still trying to calculate the exact number of missing pilgrims. “Recently, we found Dr Shahzeb of North Nazimabad and Bushra Khaliq, an air hostess, missing in the Mina incident,” he said.

He asked the government to understand the agony of the families of the missing pilgrims and improve its efforts to trace the missing pilgrims at the earliest.

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