Political appointment of Hajj director has multiplied woes of Pakistani pilgrims
SUKKUR: This is with reference to the Lahore High Court intervening to nullify the political appointment by the prime minister of Rafiq Bashir Shah, nephew of opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah as Hajj director based in Jeddah. Why should the prime minister have to write a letter to the Saudi government to request an extension after his tenure and visa had expired in December 2014?
Ever since former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, followed by Raja Ashraf and now Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have been involved in the political appointment of the Hajj director, Pakistani pilgrims have had their woes multiplied, their discomfort and exploitation becoming more acute — from fleecing of pilgrims and making their pilgrimage a never-ending misery during the tenure of Mr Gilani to the recent tragedy where countless Pakistanis have perished, with many next of kin still unaware about the fate of their loved ones.
Can the prime minister and the leader of the opposition visualise the pain of those who still don’t know whether their loved ones are alive or not? Even the national flag carrier PIA had no qualms in appointing a pilot whose basic qualifications have been declared fake as Hajj coordinator.
All that matters to the ruling elite and the opposition is to ensure that their cronies and relatives are appointed to lucrative posts at the expense of the ordinary public. This is the bitter, ugly truth and yet we remain complacent about this state of affairs. We are Muslims only in name; in practice we act like hypocrites.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2015.
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