61 Saudi officials performed duties at Road to Makkah counters in Islamabad


Sixty one Saudi officials performed duties at the Road to Makkah Counters established at Islamabad International Airport for ‘pre-departure immigration’ of Pakistani Haj pilgrims, Coordinator Hajj Operation Muhammad Shahzad Arbab said.
This year as many as 22,000 Hujjaj availed this facility at Islamabad airport, which would be extended to other major airports of the country next year, he told a private TV channel before departing for Saudi Arabia.
Describing this project a ‘cutting-edge initiative’ of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government, Arbab, who is also Adviser to Prime Minister on Establishment, said under the Road to Makkah project, now Pakistani pilgrims were treated as domestic passengers without standing in long immigration queues at Saudi airports.
The pilgrims luggage was automatically transported to their hotel rooms in Saudi Arabia, which saved around eight hours of the pilgrims at Saudi airports.
To a question, he said Rs 30,000 to Rs 70,000 were reimbursed to the Pakistani pilgrims under the government scheme, before they left for the holy land, on account of savings in Hajj arrangements.
Arbab said he had himself visited Saudi Arabia to inspect the buildings hired for accommodating Pakistani pilgrims in Makkah and Madina to ensure proper residential arrangements were made and good quality food was served to the pilgrims.
He said the government ensured maximum facilities were provided to the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. Some 2,800 ‘Khuddam,’ including medical mission were also deployed to serve the pilgrims.
Hajj arrangements would be further improved during the coming years, he added.—APP

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