Around 20,000 Pakistani pilgrims had to walk to Mina, a distance of around six kilometres from Makkah’s Grand Mosque, because their private haj service providers had failed to provide them with train tickets.
According to a report in Arab media, the pilgrims said the service providers promised to arrange transportation for them by train, but failed to arrange tickets for them, describing their behaviour as negligent and irresponsible.
Naveed Ahmed said the service providers charged him and other pilgrims in the group for the train service as part of the haj package.
However, when they reached Makkah, they were not given train tickets. Consequently, the pilgrims in this group were faced with the arduous task of walking to Mina.
Officials of the Pakistani Ministry of Religious Affairs said pilgrims facing transportation difficulties were not the ministry’s responsibility, as they (the pilgrims) had contracted private haj service providers who did not fall under the government’s haj scheme.