MULTAN: More than a thousand pilgrims from south Punjab have been stranded at the Iranian border for five days due to lack of security to escort them back into Pakistan.
People going to Iran and Iraq on religious tours, called Ziarat, are escorted by security forces as the area has often attacks on buses of travelling pilgrims by sectarian outfits.
The stranded pilgrims belong to Multan, Khanewal, Layyah, Dera Ghazi Khan and Kot Addu.
Families of the stranded pilgrims told The Express Tribune that they have spoken to their family members who are facing difficulties.
Asif Raza Korai, brother of a pilgrim from Layyah, said they were not being provided clean drinking water and food. All the food supplies carried by the pilgrims had been consumed, he added.
One Jafar Hussain said that women and children were being affected because of the harsh weather conditions. “Security officials are not even paying heed to the sufferings of women and children. We are not being provided even the basic amenities,” Hussain said, according to his family.
Muntazir Mehdi said that the pilgrims who fell ill after consuming the unclean water had not been provided any medical assistance.
Another pilgrim is quoted by his family as saying that there were no waiting areas or shelters for the stranded pilgrims and they were waiting for the government help.