36 pilgrims left stranded at Islamabad International Airport

Pilgrims began chanting slogans at the airport in protest, Airport Security Force (ASF) summoned

Our Correspondent July 05, 2022
A file photo of Islamabad International Airport. PHOTO: AFP


Thirty-six pilgrims were left stranded at Islamabad International Airport on Tuesday as passengers arrived late due to immense monsoon rains battering the twin cities.

According to officials, 22 passengers were to embark on pilgrimage via Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) while 14 pilgrims had their flights confirmed by Saudi Airlines. However, the flights to Jeddah departed without them.

Reportedly, the pilgrims are left stranded at the capital’s airport and are facing severe difficulties, claiming they arrived on time but were not issued boarding passes.

Airport officials remarked that passengers of Saudi Airlines arrived at the airport late due to rain while passengers on the PIA flight did not receive their visas on time.

As the pilgrims began chanting slogans at the airport in protest, the Airport Security Force (ASF) was summoned.

Read Shoaib Akhtar embarks on Hajj journey as Saudi state guest

Officials stated that the airport was working to provide necessary facilities to the passengers and a solution will soon arise.

Saudi Arabia is set to welcome one million worshippers for the biggest hajj pilgrimage since the pandemic.

"This is pure joy," Sudanese pilgrim Abdel Qader Kheder told AFP in Mecca, ahead of the event expected to start on Wednesday. "I almost can't believe I am here. I am enjoying every moment."

One million people, including 850,000 from abroad, are allowed at this year's hajj after two years of drastically curtailed numbers due to the pandemic.

At least 650,000 overseas pilgrims have arrived so far in Saudi Arabia, the authorities said Sunday.


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