Missing elderly pilgrim yet to be traced PESHAWAR: An octogenarian Pakistani pilgrim who went missing from the grand mosque in Madina Saudi Arabia some six weeks ago has yet to be traced giving rise to suspicions that he might be in the custody of Saudi police. Abdul Ghafoor Khan, who hails from Charsadda district, went missing in Madina on Aug 19, around two weeks before the annual pilgrimage got underway.
His family members and fellow pilgrims said the 80-year-old man had gone missing after he had an altercation with the local police deputed at Masjid-i-Nabvi. Six days later on Aug 25, Khan’s family members were informed by the Pakistani Haj mission in Madina through an email that the octogenarian had been handed over to his fellow pilgrims at their hotel in Madina.
However, his family claims that Khan’s fellow travelers denied this. And when his fellow travelers returned to Pakistan on Saturday, Khan was not among them.
Imdadullah Khiyal, the son of the missing pilgrim, told media persons that they had sent multiple requests to the ministry of religious affairs and other government officials seeking their help in recovering his father, but to no avail. He said Khan’s fellow pilgrims suspected that he might be in the custody of Saudi police in Madina.
Pakistan Haj offi cials, however, say they have checked with the police, hospitals and jail authorities in Madina, but have been unable to find Khan. Khiyal, blaming the Haj officials for his father’s disappearance, warned of filing a formal complaint against them if his father was not traced. He urged the government to contact Saudi officials and help recover his missing father.