Nearly a thousand Shia pilgrims have been stranded at the Pakistan-Iran border in the restive Balochistan border for about a week, waiting for security forces to escort them back to their homes in Punjab province.
The pilgrims had gone to Iran and Iraq on religious tours and on reaching the Taftan border town in Balochistan last week learnt that security arrangements to escort them to Multan, Khanewal, Dera Ghazi Khan and Layyah in southern Punjab were not adequate.
They are unwilling to undertake the journey without proper security since Shias have often been a target of extremist sectarian outfits and hundreds of them have been killed in targeted killings and bomb attacks over the years.
The pilgrims, including women and children, face harsh weather and shortage of food. Supplies have nearly run out, reports said.