Tuesday Feb 21, 2023
In a bid to complete the road to Makkah project at the earliest and make it fully operational, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to accelerate work on it.
The understanding was reached during a meeting between Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Al Maliki in Islamabad.
The project is a Saudi initiative which will benefit the intending pilgrims, as the immigration and relevant processes for the holy journey are being completed at the local airports instead of passing through these procedures at the Saudi airports.
This project will be started from major cities under which pilgrims will get easy and hassle-free immigration.
At the request of the interior minister, the ambassador assured to make all possible efforts for the early release of Pakistanis imprisoned in Saudi jails.
It is pertinent to mention here that former prime minister Imran Khan formally inaugurated the ‘Road to Makkah’ project at the Islamabad International Airport (IIA) in July 2019.
For the first time, the Saudi immigration staff cleared 368 Pakistani pilgrims at the airport. Initially, the facility was provided at the Islamabad airport, however, in June, 2022, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed the hope that initiative will be extended to other cities of Pakistan to facilitate pilgrims intending to perform Hajj.