Pakistani victims of Madinah bus crash identified — foreign office

1 / 2
Madinah highway Jan 19, 2018 ( Courtesy social media)
2 / 2
A handout picture from the Saudi Red Crescent shows a pilgrims' bus in flames on the road near the town of Medina, 840 kms north-west of the Saudi capital Riyadh, late on Oct. 16, 2019. (Saudi Red Crescent via AFP/File)
Updated 15 November 2019

Pakistani victims of Madinah bus crash identified — foreign office

  • Bodies of 10 Pakistani nationals recognized through DNA samples gathered by Saudi authorities
  • Charred remains of the deceased Pakistani pilgrims buried in the Kingdom

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Thursday that the DNA verification process for all of the country’s pilgrims killed in last month’s fatal road crash while they were traveling from Riyadh to Makkah was done and their bodies had been buried in Saudi Arabia.
“Ten Pakistanis have been identified” after a rigorous process of trying to ascertain identities through “DNA matching,” the foreign office spokesman, Dr. Muhammed Faisal, told Arab News.
Explaining the hardships involved in the process, he said: “The bus driver who had a list also died and the passengers’ record was burnt.”
Investigators “traced a copy of the passengers’ list” from the relevant bus company which helped collect the data on the number of passengers, including all Pakistanis onboard, “but they were still unable to identify the corpses and required families of the deceased to help identify the victims.”
The foreign office has not revealed the identities of the Pakistanis until now, though it says “details will soon be released.”
It may be recalled that the bus caught fire after the accident and the charred bodies of passengers were found to be beyond recognition.
A team of Pakistani officials with the help of Saudi authorities worked tirelessly to identify all the victims, collecting DNA samples of the deceased pilgrims to ascertain their exact identities.
“None of the bodies of the Pakistani victims were brought back to the country. It’s likely that all of them were buried there [in Saudi Arabia],” the spokesman said.


Pakistan’s PM to visit Bahrain on Monday

Updated 12 min 9 sec ago

Pakistan’s PM to visit Bahrain on Monday

  • Khan will attend the Kingdom’s national day as guest of honor
  • He will also receive Bahrain’s highest civil award and interact with its top leadership

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will attend Bahrain’s national day as guest of honor on King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa’s invitation on Monday, said an official handout circulated by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation on his first visit to the Gulf state since assuming the highest political office of his country in August 2018.
“During the visit, [the prime minister] will have one-on-one meeting with His Majesty Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa and hold delegation-level talks with Crown Prince His Royal Highness Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa,” said the official statement. “The exchange of views would cover the entire gamut of bilateral relations and matters pertaining to regional and international issues.”
Bahrain will also confer its highest civil award on the leader of the South Asian nation.
“Pakistan and Bahrain enjoy close cordial ties based on commonalities of faith and culture and marked by mutual trust and understanding,” the statement added. “The bilateral relationship is broad-based and multifaceted, covering diverse fields … Pakistan and Bahrain closely coordinate in multilateral fora including the UN, OIC and GCC.”
The ministry noted that the two countries had also established institutional mechanisms, including Bilateral Political Consultations and Joint Ministerial Commission, to bolster bilateral cooperation.
“Over 100,000 Pakistani expatriate community, which contributes to the socio-economic development of Bahrain, acts as a strong human bridge between the two countries,” the official handout maintained.
“The Prime Minister’s visit to Bahrain will enable the two sides to explore ways and means to further deepen bilateral trade and investments ties,” the statement continued. “The visit is of special significance and will impart a strong impetus to both sides’ endeavours to forge a closer, multifaceted bilateral relationship.”