Saudi authorities were being persuaded to initiate the “Road to Makkah” project in the provincial capitals of Pakistan from next year, Consul General of Pakistan in Jeddah Khalid Majeed said Monday.
In an interview, he stated that Saudi authorities had assured that the airports situated in provincial capitals in Pakistan would also benefit from the Road to Makkah initiatives currently available in Islamabad only.
It may be mentioned here that the Road to Makkah Initiative by Saudi Arabia streamlines immigration for Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan.
Pre-clearance in their home countries eliminates processing at Saudi airports. Pilgrims are greeted at lounges and quickly transported to their residences upon arrival, ensuring a smooth and efficient journey.
The Road to Makkah project allows Hajj pilgrims to go through immigration facilities at their respective countries’ airports, streamlining the process.
This year, Khalid said a total of 30,000 Pakistani pilgrims had already benefited from the Road to Makkah initiative, similar to the number in the previous year. It is anticipated that the number of beneficiaries will increase significantly in the coming year.
During the inaugural direct flight to Makkah, which brought 340 pilgrims from Pakistan to Jeddah as part of the “Road to Makkah” program, he said the Pakistani hajj pilgrims received clearance in a remarkably short time of only thirty minutes.
He said the Road to Makkah project ensured that pilgrims’ luggage was directly delivered to their rooms, further enhancing their convenience and comfort.
He stated that the intending pilgrims had expressed their satisfaction and happiness with the Road to Makkah project, as it had significantly improved their overall experience.
Meanwhile, Director General Hajj, Abdul Wahab Soomro, told that a total of 1,700 Moavineen e Hujjaj had been appointed to provide assistance to the intending pilgrims.
There is a strong level of coordination maintained with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia.
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Talha Mehmood and Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Dr Aftab Akbar Durrani are actively supporting and overseeing the entire team’s efforts, ensuring a seamless workflow.
The positive feedback received from the Hajjis reflected their satisfaction, making us proud of our achievements, he concluded.
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