Sunday, April 21, 2024

Karachi Included in ‘Road to Makkah’ Project and Here’s What it Means

Dr. Syed Atta-ur-Rehman, the Secretary of Religious Affairs, announced on Friday that this year, Hajj pilgrims will undergo Saudi immigration and customs clearance at Karachi Airport.

He emphasized the significance of the ‘Road to Makkah’ project, stating that Saudi officials had completed a survey at Karachi Airport to streamline immigration and customs procedures for pilgrims.

Dr. Syed Atta-ur-Rehman mentioned the upcoming implementation of advanced immigration technology, which could reduce immigration time to less than a minute. He also highlighted the use of modern technology in baggage handling to ensure swift delivery and minimize the risk of loss.

To enhance organization, pilgrims’ belongings will be labeled and coded based on eight zones, facilitating smooth sorting and delivery processes. Additionally, goods will be delivered directly to residences through the project.

The Secretary of Religious Affairs expressed gratitude for Karachi’s inclusion in the project and commended Saudi authorities for their collaborative efforts. He also mentioned plans to expand the initiative to other airports in Pakistan.

Under the ‘Road to Makkah’ Initiative, pilgrims undergo immigration procedures at their respective countries’ airports, aiming to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs intends to expand the initiative to airports in cities besides Islamabad, with Karachi being a key focus. Currently, the facility is only available at Islamabad International Airport.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Pakistani Hajj pilgrims might skip the immigration process at Jeddah airport after completing it at Karachi airport this year.

The total number of seats allocated to Pakistan for the upcoming Hajj is approximately 180,000, including those for private Hajj operators.

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