LAHORE - Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed all the district coordination officers of the province to set up haj counters for providing information about the pilgrims who are missing after Mina stampede.

According to the instructions given by the CM to the DSOs that on receiving any information regarding the hajis, they would convey the same immediately to the relevant family through the through the institutions concerned.

Shahbaz Sharif will also request the federal government for announcing financial assistance to the families of hajis who have been martyred in the stampede. The Pakistan mission in Saudi Arabia is only source providing information about the martyred and injured Pakistani in the Mina stampede. So far the death of 40 Pakistanis, mostly from Punjab, has been officially announced and their names put on the government website under instructions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

After the initial reports of 316, 68 Pakistanis are still missing and search of the hospitals and other relevant places is being conducted through the Pakistan Embassy to know their well being and whereabouts.

As per the Saudi authorities the death toll of the nationals of 21 countries in the stampede is 769 and over 500 injured. However, contradicting this figures, a foreign newspaper reported the toll over at over 1100 while legislators of the ruling PML-N Dr Tariq Afzal Ch also endorsed this casualty number before the media last day.

Fazal said he holds list of the deceased in this incident which according to the Saudi version, took place due to sultry weather which added up due to rush of the hujis during performance of a Hajj rite at Jamarat, near Mina.