Pakistan intends to keep track of all its Hajj pilgrims by fitting them with lockets or bracelets that can monitor their movements and ensure that they don’t go missing in the event of a stampede.
The plan was drawn up in the wake of a string of tragedies during Hajj-2015, which left people searching for their near and dear ones.
“Each pilgrim will be tracked and accounted for,” Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Yusuf told reporters on Monday. After long deliberations, the government decided to issue the devices for protecting Pakistani pilgrims from getting lost during accidents.
The trackers will be attached to a centrally controlled monitoring system working round the clock in both the cities of Saudi Arabia, he explained.
About frequent complaints regarding residential complications for pilgrims, Sardar Yusuf said that it had been decided that all Pakistani pilgrims would have their dwellings within 500 meters of the holy places in Makkah and Medina.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2016.