NEW DELHI: The Government of India announced on August 11 that owing to the danger to which pilgrim ships and their passengers would be exposed by enemy action, no arrangements could be made for the Haj pilgrimage this year by sea. Government have consequently been investigating the possibility of pilgrims proceeding by land routes. These may be described as follows:
Via Kuwait and Bahrain
The first two routes involve a lengthy sea journey from India up the Persian Gulf, and are therefore open to the same objection as the route via Jedda. Moreover the Government of India have learned from His Majesty’s Representative in Iraq and the Persian Gulf that neither at Baghdad nor at Bahrain and Kuwait is there any motor transport available for pilgrims… Nor can the third route by Iran be recommended. Public motor transport services are no long available in that country; and food is expensive and not always easily obtainable…
The Saudi Arabian Government decline all responsibility with regard to transport for pilgrims travelling overland and will not be able to spare any cars to assists overland pilgrims in case of breakdowns on the long and difficult journey across Arabia.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2018