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    A tale of a friend who lost his friend in Mina Stampede…

    October 8th, 2015 | by Voice of South Asia
    A tale of a friend who lost his friend in Mina Stampede…

    Noreen Shams

    Some days back while gathering some facts about the Mina stampede I managed to find a person in Saudi Arabia through a friend. I called him to get my answers for the story I have been working on and to relieve my curiosity to find out how’s situation was actually there beyond our local TV media reports.

    As I called the person he was sobbed, his voice was aching and in grief as since many days he had not slept. After few minutes I found out he just came back after a burial of his dear friend who lost his life in same horrific incident of Mina.

    In this image posted on the official Twitter account of the directorate of the Saudi Civil Defense agency, a pilgrim is treated by a medic after a stampede that killed and injured pilgrims in the holy city of Mina during the annual hajj pilgrimage on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. (Directorate of the Saudi Civil Defense agency via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    Finding out that I had forgotten my questions and since when that person started talking about his friend he never stopped out either.

    His friend name was Doctor Amir Ali Lashari, he was from Larkana, Pakistan. He was doctor in Polyclinic in Jeddah and was living in Saudi Arabia since 11 years. He had 11 year daughter and wife. Dr Lashari few months back had wrapped all his work and house in Saudi Arabia and planned to shift in Karachi.

    Earlier this year, He had bought an apartment in Karachi and already sent his wife and daughter to reside in there.

    He himself stayed in Saudi Arabia to complete some undone work. As soon as the month of Pilgrimage started he planned after Performing Hajjj that would be a great wrap up from Saudi Arabia and then coming back Pakistan. For that matter He called his wife and daughter to perform Hajj this year together and he said its best to start a new journey from Allah’s Home.

    After performing all rituals of Hajj together, this small family got separated with each other in this horrible incident like many others families.

    Everybody got concerned for their loved ones since that dark tragedy took place similarly Pakistanis dwelling in Jeddah rushed to contact people they know performing Hajj this year.

    Friends of Dr Lashari, got concerned and somehow managed to reached the hospitals nearby Mina where injured were shifted.

    GRAPHIC CONTENT  Saudi emergency personnel stand near bodies of Hajj pilgrims at the site where at least 717 were killed and hundreds wounded in a stampede in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, at the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia on September 24, 2015. The stampede, the second deadly accident to strike the pilgrims this year, broke out during the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual, the Saudi civil defence service said. AFP PHOTO / STR        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

    First of all they got to know about Mrs Lashari and the daughter were injured but safely brought to hospital but there were no sign of Dr Lashari himself. According to his wife and daughter they were looking up for him at incident site but couldn’t find him.

    Friends in a way of finding Dr Lashari were in serious turmoil as it was like a glimpse of a Judgment day everyone was running here and there all cast and creed was there but strange kind of fear and blood filled white Ahraam were common among them.

    The biggest examination at the Home of Allah has just begun. In response of Pakistani Embassy facilitation he was heart broke. He said in those hospitals there were no coordinators from Pakistani embassy who can facilitate Pakistanis. The biggest hurdle for all Pakistanis was language barrier to coordinate with the hospital management to inquire if any Pakistanis brought in the hospital.

    Pakistani Embassy although provided two help lines which was constantly busy and sometime nobody was picking up.

    On the other hand, the person mentioned there was Indonesian Embassy they made a group of Whatsapp where every Indonesian pilgrim was asked to share details and photos of their people whom they are searching.

    He was in grief and anger and was in his point of helplessness, according to him there was no support given to us by Pakistani authorities. The day has passed calling on and inquiring the hospitals, later morning on finding from one of the hospital we received the news Dr Lashari was declared dead in the hospital.

    It was hard moment to hear about our friend, the person told me, especially when you think about his family and more hard it became when we had to give that news to his wife and his only daughter.

    But when Allah gives some adversities He gives us courage to pass through it, the person told me.

    We brought back Dr Lashari body to Makkah along with his wife and daughter and after all official procedures on fourth day after incident we buried him in New Saraye Graveyard after Fajr Prayers.

    And now I am just telling you all what we have been through these four days.

    To get the death certificate and confirmation of Dr Lashari death, Pakistani Embassy is just counting stats and keeps telling media how they managed to find Pakistanis but in reality they are doing nothing to help Pakistanis.

    Saudi ambulances arrive with pilgrims who were injured in a stampede at an emergency hospital in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, on the first day of Eid al-Adha on September 24, 2015. At least 310 people were killed and hundreds wounded during a stampede at the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia, in the second tragedy to strike the pilgrims this year. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKHMOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images

    He said It was far easy for us as we are educated and since long residing in Saudi Arabia, but think about those who just came here from far flung villages and quite old to go through all this you can’t think of what misery they were having and what had happened to those.

    With that he just hanged up the phone that we can’t provide our nation anything back home it’s only a miracle if they help u out abroad.

    The writer is a freelance journalist based in Pakistan.

    (Person is the permanent resident of KSA and so his name was not mentioned upon his request)

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