Plight of a missing pigrim


Muhammad Qasim Jan

Every year, scores of Pakistani’s embark upon Haj to fulfill the religious obligation. Unfortunately, the journey for the holy pilgrimage turned into the worst nightmare for our family when my grandfather Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Khan S/O Haji Ghandal Khan went missing near Masjid-e-Nabvi in Madinah just on the second day of his arrival. Awed by his disappearance, we immediately contacted Pakistan House Madina and Ministry of Religious Affairs for helping us to trace our father. We were informed by Pakistan House Madinah that Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Khan had an “altercation with the Police” which was subsequently mediated by its officials. After his release, Mr. Khan was dropped to an unidentified person at the hostel where he was staying. However, none of his fellow pilgrims have seen him after the said incident.
The officials of Pakistan House, claim to have utilized all the possible resources; from displaying hundreds of posters in Masjid e Nabvi to visiting hospitals, morgues, police stations and reviewing CCTV footages, but to no avail. Anecdotally, he is detained by the Saudi police for unexplained charges. Even after our several requests, the Pakistan House Madinah has not provided any official undertaking regarding his detention with the police nor have they been able to identify the circumstances encompassing the mysterious disappearance of my grandfather.
The fellow group members have returned to the country on 1st October 2016, after performing Hajj, yet we yearn for the slightest clue of Mr. Abdul Ghafoor’s whereabouts. We are deeply saddened by the apathetic attitude of the designated officers and unresponsiveness of numerous doors we have knocked. No one is willing to undertake this matter of grave human rights violation in Saudi Arabia because of the fear of facing harsh repercussion for raising voice against the “Holiness”.
What religion, however, teaches its followers to back oppressors or to silently bear the injustice? At least, Islamic teachings greatly emphasize the honest discharge of entrusted duties and swift response to the plea of those in need. We request the power circles, to help us trace Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Khan. We humbly request the readers to pray for his swift recovery.