ISLAMABAD: The Opposition in Senate on Thursday staged a walkout of the session in protest over not bringing bodies of Pakistani pilgrims martyred in Mina stampede to homeland.
Speaking on a point of order, leader of the Opposition in the house Aitzaz Ahsan said the government had failed to make arrangements for shifting the bodies and tracing missing Pakistani pilgrims.
He was of the views that around 300 Pakistani pilgrims were martyred and missing in the Mina tragedy and their relatives were facing mental agony.
The PPP leader said there were also media reports that the Saudi government has buried the martyred, adding that PEMRA has also barred the issue to raised on TV channels.
Senator Ahsan claimed that efforts were afoot to put the issue on the backburner. However, he added that they will ensure that the matter was not forgotten.
He said the NADRA would have identified the missing and martyred pilgrims within no time if their photos and thumb impressions were uploaded on the government’s website.
Aitzaz Ahsan demanded of the government to either make arrangements for bringing back the bodies or issue Saudi visas for the families of the martyrs.
Responding to his allegations, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said the Saudi government has set up a high-level commission to probe the tragedy. He suggested that no one should do politics over the tragedy, adding that findings of the commission should be awaited before jumping on to conclusions.
Senator Rashid said pilgrims sign an undertaking allowing their burial in Saudi Arabia in case of their death during Hajj.
He clarified that the PEMRA did not bar raising the issue on the electronic media but requested not to issue information contrary to facts that can harm bilateral ties of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Later lack of quorum led to adjournment of the session till Friday morning.