ISLAMABAD - The figure of Pakistani pilgrims martyred in Mina stampede surged to 44 after four more out of missing 63 were identified as martyred.

Giving details about the information received here from Pakistan Embassy and Haj Mission in Makkah yesterday Prime Minister’s focal person Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry informed that out of total 63 missing pilgrims four more were identified as martyred raising the death toll to 44. Dr Tariq said that on the direction of the prime minister, the government functionaries were taking all possible measures to reach out to the injured and the bereaved family members of the martyred pilgrims.

The prime minister has been in constant touch with the Federal Minister for Religious Affairs who is currently staying in Saudi Arabia and other concerned high authorities in Pakistan, he added.

The family members of the missing pilgrims are being informed about the whereabouts of their relatives by the PM Office through telephonic contacts.

The minister for Religious Affairs would be staying back in Saudi Arabia till conclusion of all the relief activities while the ministry of Foreign Affairs is also actively involved in these activities and taking up the issue at all levels.

Moreover, the information about some pilgrims who were not registered with the ministry including those Pakistanis who were either residing in Saudi Arabia or others who had arrived to perform Haj on personal visas from other countries, was being received on government established helpline and shared with the authorities staying in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Manzoor-ul-Haq said that the list of 44 Pakistanis martyred in the Mina stampede was not verified. The ambassador said there might be room for error in the list issued by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Ambassador Manzoor added that the embassy had only received the remains of 14 Pakistanis.