LAHORE - A writ petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court seeking directions for the ministry of religious affairs to disclose all casualties of Pakistani pilgrims in Mina stampede to the public.

Arif Idrees, a citizen, has filed the petition and said international media has reported that 286 pilgrims of Pakistan died in the incident but officials of Religious Ministry Pakistan are misleading people by trying to minimise the death toll.

He said day by day the number is increasing and relatives of missing pilgrims are worried about whereabouts and lives of their loved ones but the government is not providing them proper information.

He said Director General Haj Pakistan (Jeddah) Abu Akaf is responsible for withholding information so as to cover corruption as he is already holding illegal extension and is interested to receive kickbacks like his other colleagues.

Through his counsel, Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique, he alleged that international media has reported deaths are 286 but Ministry of Religious Affairs is deliberately withholding the true information and it shows the inefficiency, bad governance and to cover up performance of the responsible officers of the ministry who were appointed on political basis.

All details are with them but in order to cover up corruption the details are not being provided to the public and electronic and print media is helping the public which is the function of the state.

He has prayed the court to issue directions to the ministry to provide true details about the casualties and injured pilgrims in Mina incident and ensure action against the responsible of withholding the information.

Chinese Consulate: The LHC yesterday reserved verdict on a petition challenging construction of Chinese consulate in residential area of New Muslim Town Lahore.

A resident of the area, Rana Sajjad Siddique, filed the petition saying that a property near his house had been given to Chinese consulate ‘illegally’ on rent against $40,000 per month.