Gul Muhammad, a resident of Taghalkhel area in Bannu, was also reported missing by his family members
Families in the city are still waiting to hear from Pakistani and Saudi governments about their loved ones who went missing in the Mina stampede which killed over 1,100 pilgrims. The death of one more person from Taghal Khel, Bannu was also confirmed by the Saudi government on Saturday.
Loved ones say all communications with Saleh Muhammad, Khairullah Khan with his wife Zahida Bibi, and Salawat went dark on September 24, the day of the stampede. However, despite the passage of 10 days, they remain missing.
“When we call the Pakistani embassy in Saudi Arabia, they do not attend our calls. The Pakistani government is also not doing enough and we don’t know what to do,” said Ikramullah, the son of Khairullah.
Khairullah, a resident of Dir Colony in Peshawar, was in the same group as Saleh, a resident of Hazar Khwani village. “We can’t go to Saudi Arabia to search for our loved ones and the government has failed completely,” added Ikramullah.
Saleh’s wife returned home on October 1 in a state of panic and trauma. She got separated from her husband and other group members, Khairullah and Zahida Bibi, during the incident.
Taimur Khan, a nephew of Saleh, said Pakistan House in Saudi Arabia was equally in the dark over the plight of the missing Pakistani pilgrims. He added, “Our friends and relatives in Saudi Arabia are searching for Saleh and others, while Pakistan House requested to be updated from the community members rather than organising the search itself.”
According to Taimur, Saleh’s wife recalls walking in a group of seven people when hundreds of African people came running towards them. “Saleh pushed his wife to a side and disappeared in the rush,” he related to The Express Tribune. “She injured herself inspecting hundreds of bodies but found Saleh nowhere,” he added.
Similarly, Salawat Khan of Bakhshi Pul area is also missing. “He is still missing and no one is doing anything for us. We have family and friends searching on their own,” said Haji Fayaz, Salawat’s brother.
Gul Muhammad, a resident of Taghalkhel area in Bannu, was also reported missing by his family members. According to his relatives, no contact was established with the victim since the Mina incident took place.
However, the family received confirmation of Gul’s death from the Saudi government on Saturday. Government officials also informed the family the deceased has been laid to rest in Saudi Arabia.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2015.