Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President and Member Parliament from Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah on Friday expressed dismay over the distressing complains of the Hajis from Kashmir over the lack of transport facilities including proper accommodation at Makkah and Madina.
While decrying the lack of facilities being given to the pilgrims’ the NC president said, “Hajj pilgrims are sending distressing messages to their kin back home about the scantiness of facilities being given to them at Makkah. The Hajis from Kashmir are complaining about the unavailability of transport including other basic facilities. The relatives of the Hajis from Kashmir are lamenting that the room arrangements for the Kashmiri pilgrims are pathetic, overcrowded. The reports have it that the rooms which are suitable for just three persons are being allotted to six and seven people,” adding, “Most of the Hajis are first-time travelers so they take things as they get without even complaining, what they are actually eligible for. The rooms are in shambles and the bathrooms facilities are grimly. The pilgrims are also complaining that the khadims designated for Kashmir based pilgrims are least cooperative.”
Dr Farooq said that the pilgrims are already going through duress in wake of doing away with Hajj Subsidies. “For most of the pilgrims, it is going to be an experience for life time. The state and the central government is duty bound to make the trip comfortable for pilgrims. However the reports coming from the Kashmiri pilgrims are not satisfactory. I have been receiving complaints from the kin of those who are on the pilgrimage. I take this opportunity to urge the ministry of Hajj and Umrah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to address the issues concerning the Hajj pilgrims from Kashmir.” Meanwhile, the NC president had a telephonic conversation with Union Minister for Minority Affairs Syed Muktar Abbas Naqvi in this connection. Dr Farooq urged him to address the problems concerning the Hajis hailing from Kashmir. He said that he would take up the issue at all appropriate forums.