SA meticulously serving pilgrims

1530

SERVING the guests of Allah – the pilgrims – indeed is a big honour but also a big responsibility and sacred duty which the Saudi Government under King Salman bin Abdul Aziz is fulfilling meticulously as the focus is consistently and vigorously on improving facilities and services to facilitate the pilgrims to the maximum. Again for this year’s hajj, the rituals for which began on Friday with the gathering of pilgrims at the tent city of Minah, the Saudi Government has put in place highly structured arrangements ranging from the security and accommodation of the pilgrims to their health and medical needs.
According to Saudi media, about 2.5 million faithfuls, the majority from abroad, are undertaking pilgrimage this year. Increase in the number of pilgrims every year itself speaks volume of the satisfaction level of the pilgrims and is recognition of Saudi efforts in facilitating the Hajj. The services starting from the airport to the development of services in holy sites both in Makkah and Madina reflect the commitment of Saudi leadership to the sacred duty. Latest technology is also being used to help out the pilgrims. According to Saudi Hajj Ministry, more than one point eight million visas were delivered online this year without the need for middlemen which indeed is a big success. The people of Pakistan are especially thankful to the fraternal country for not only increasing Hajj quota but also including Pakistan in the Road to Makkah initiative under which the Pakistani pilgrims travelling from Islamabad International airport completed all formalities including the immigration at the domestic airport, thus ensuring their hassle free passage at the Saudi airports. We expect that the initiative will be expanded to other cities of Pakistan in the next year. Indeed, the Kingdom, has ambitious plans to further increase Hajj and Umrah pilgrims in the coming years according to its vision 2030 introduced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The vision amongst other facilities and infrastructure also focuses on expanding health and medical services for pilgrims by preparing hospital and health centres to provide top-of-the-line services round-the-clock, in addition to sewage, cleanliness and lighting services at the holy sites and the Jamaraat Bridge. Given the peaceful, professional and perfect manner, the Saudi Government has been organizing Hajj over the last many years, we are confident that it will also achieve the milestones set in the Vision 2030 that will bring further ease to the pilgrims. It is also for the pilgrims to fully cooperate with the authorities deployed for their convenience in order to avoid any mishap.