Pakistani Pilgrim Buried in Mina without Family Being Informed: Report
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Zubair Ahmed, 33, a Pakistan national missing since the Hajj crush in Saudi Arabia, is said to have been buried by Saudi authorities in Mina, without his family being informed, his cousin Saleem Ahmed has told a local newspaper.
Zubair Ahmed was among the five members of a family who lost each other when the deadly crush happened in Mina, near Mecca, on Sept 24, the Pakistan-based newspaper, Dawn, reported.
The bodies of Professor Iftikhar Ahmed and Professor Talmeez Ahmed were found from a hospital mortuary in Mina. Professor Talmeez’s wife, Shams Jahan, made it safely back home. However, the search for the two missing — Professor Iftikhar’s wife Rana Iftikhar and their son Zubair Ahmed – was ongoing.
“Last night we got to know that Zubair had been buried two days ago in Mina,” Saleem Ahmed, his cousin told Dawn on Monday.
“The Saudi authorities matched the fingerprints of the dead with the ones they got from the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) as well as from their airport security staff,” he said.
The family now awaits news about Rana Iftikhar and cautiously hopes for her return.
“It would be a miracle if she made it back. We are being realistic. But let me add that at one point of time you would like things to come into an over," the cousin said.
"If a family member is missing, you would want to know whether they are alive. And if they are dead, you want to see them for the last time,” he adds.
However, Ahmed says it was because of his sources and connections with Saudi authorities that he was able to receive information on his relatives. In a majority of the other cases, relatives are still moving from pillar to post to find out about their loved ones since they complain that the Pakistan consulate in Jeddah “has no clue about the missing or the dead”.
Uzma Khaliq, whose sister Bushra Khaliq has not been traced since the Mina tragedy, says their brother could not find any help in Mina either. “We received news that some of the mutilated bodies are being kept inside refrigerated containers, but it is quite difficult to access those places without a proper contact,” she said.
Bushra, training instructor at a private airline in Riyadh, went missing along with her two friends, Khadija Saeed and Rida Emaan.
A spokesperson with the Pakistan consulate said they are trying their “best to identify the victims of the Mina tragedy”.