Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia Agree to Fast Track Expansion of ‘Road to Makkah’ Project to Karachi

The governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to quickly fulfill all the necessary requirements for the timely start of the Road to Makkah project at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.

According to an official statement, discussions about the Route to Makkah Project took place between Syed Murad Ali Shah and Saudi Ambassador Mr. Nawaf Said Al-Malky during their meeting at the Chief Minister House. The Chief Minister highlighted the project’s importance and showed eagerness to see it in action for the Hujjaj (pilgrims) of Sindh at Jinnah Terminal.

This development comes after a visit by a 12-member delegation from Saudi Arabia to Karachi airport, where they explored possibilities to expand the project. The initiative allows pilgrims to complete immigration clearance at the departure airport in Pakistan instead of doing it in Saudi Arabia.

The ‘Road to Makkah’ Initiative is a crucial part of Saudi Arabia’s Guests of God Service Program, which aims to diversify the kingdom’s economy by enabling pilgrims to go through immigration procedures at their home country’s airports.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs had previously mentioned plans to extend the Makkah Route Initiative to airports in cities beyond Islamabad, with Karachi being a key focus. Currently, the facility is only available at Islamabad International Airport.

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