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Saudi Delegation In Pakistan To Enhance Road To Makkah Initiative

Saudi Delegation In Pakistan To Enhance Road To Makkah Initiative

A Saudi delegation visited Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport to explore expanding the ‘Road to Makkah’ Initiative for Pakistani pilgrims. This initiative, part of Saudi Arabia’s Guests of God Service Program, streamlines immigration procedures for pilgrims at their home country’s airports. The delegation, consisting of 12 members, met with officials from various departments, including the Civil Aviation Authority, Customs, Immigration, and Anti-Narcotics Force. Currently, the ‘Road to Makkah’ facility is available only at Islamabad International Airport. The Ministry of Religious Affairs in Pakistan expressed its intention to extend the Makkah Route Initiative to other cities, with Karachi being a notable focus.

The initiative allows pilgrims to complete immigration processes in Pakistan before reaching Jeddah airport, potentially easing the journey for Hajj pilgrims. The total allocated seats for Pakistan in the upcoming Hajj are approximately 180,000, including those for private Hajj operators. To attract applicants, the government opened applications for those who performed Hajj in the last five years. Short Hajj packages and a Sponsorship Scheme are introduced for this year’s pilgrimage.

Read more: Saudi Arabia Prohibits Hosting Iftar In Mosques

The Long Hajj package, spanning 38-42 days with an 8-day stay in Medinah, costs Rs 10,65,000 for the South region (Karachi and Sukkur) and Rs 10,75,000 for other cities (Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabad). The Sponsorship Scheme’s cost is $3765 for the South region and $3800 for the North region.

For the Short Hajj package, regular applicants pay Rs 11,40,000 for the South region and Rs 11,50,000 for the North region, with the pilgrimage lasting 20-25 days. The Sponsorship Scheme’s cost for Short Hajj is $4015 for the South region and $4050 for the North region. The anticipated dates for this year’s pilgrimage are from June 14 to June 19.

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