ISLAMABAD: With around two million Muslims from around the globe converging at Makkah to begin their Hajj rituals, Ministry of Religious Affairs is flooded with complaints made by Pakistan pilgrims who criticised the ministry for failing to live up to its promises about ensuring their trouble-free stay in Saudi Arabia.
The Express Tribune has learnt that Pakistani pilgrims have requested Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah to take up the issue in parliament and expose the government’s mismanagement.
The complaints were lodged by a large number of Pakistani pilgrims who went to perform Hajj through government-sponsored scheme through the official Facebook page and WatsApp group of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
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They were furious over the lack of accommodation and transport facilities arranged by the Ministry of Religious Affairs at Mina.
One of the pilgrims even uploaded a video on the WatsApp group showing how many Pakistanis were spending the day on the footpaths in Makkah.
Pilgrims have been sharing videos and pictures on WatsApp and Facebook pages to prove their claims.
Pilgrims have also registered their complaints and expressed anger under the ‘self-praising videos and news posted by the officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs on their official Facebook claiming all is going well in Saudi Arabia.
A pilgrim named Mehwish Siddiqui complained that there was no proper cleaning in Mina, adding that there was not enough space and they had to adjust with a lot of people in a small space.
“Untrained official, abusive language being used by bus conductors, no cleaning at all, if you call them for cleaning or any problem,” Noshad Khan, another pilgrim wrote.
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Muhammad Abbas Butt complained of overcrowded camps saying that 60 people were asked to accommodate in a camp for 30 people while another 60 were kept waiting.
Another pilgrim Muhammad Ali asked the minister to take immediate action about all complaints concerning Mina and resolve them on an urgent basis.
Meanwhile, several pilgrims registered their protest with the officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs through messages sent on the ministry’s official WhatsApp group.
They said that they were not provided with a tent and mattresses at Mina and were forced to spend day under scorching sun and others complained about getting transport too late.
While responding to the complaints registered by the Pakistani pilgrims, Ministry of religious affairs spokesperson Imran Siddique said it was the responsibility of the Saudi government to arrange proper accommodation and transport facilities at Mina, therefore in this regard the ministry officials were helpless.
He further claimed that so far things were going smoothly and the ministry had managed everything very well.
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