ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif has expressed deep condolences on the sad demise of pilgrims due to the incident. He prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and commiserated with the bereaved families and the government of Saudia Arabia.
Nawaz Sharif has directed Pakistan’s ambassador in Saudia Arabia to provide every possible help to the injured and to personally visit patients in hospitals on behalf of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The pilgrimage, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, has been prone to disasters in the past, mainly from stampedes as pilgrims rushed to complete rituals and return home. Hundreds of pilgrims died in such a stampede in 2006.
Saudi authorities have since lavished vast sums to expand the main Haj sites and improve Makkah’s transportation system, in an effort to prevent more disasters.
Security services often ring Islam’s sacred city with checkpoints and other measures to prevent people arriving for the pilgrimage without authorization.
Those procedures, aimed at reducing crowd pressure which can lead to stampedes, fires and other hazards, have been intensified in recent years as security threats grow throughout the Middle East.