Karachi, a major city in Pakistan, has been incorporated into a significant initiative by Saudi Arabia known as the ‘Road to Makkah.’ This initiative aims to assist individuals embarking on the Hajj pilgrimage next year. Instead of enduring lengthy queues in Saudi Arabia, pilgrims can complete their immigration procedures right in Karachi.
Aneeq Ahmed, the Minister of Religious Affairs, confirmed Karachi’s inclusion in this project. He held discussions with the Saudi Ambassador and a representative from the Muslim World League to finalize the arrangement.
The ‘Road to Makkah’ project commenced its assistance to pilgrims departing from Islamabad this year. The minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia paved the way for its expansion to Lahore and Karachi for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage.
This initiative is part of Saudi Arabia’s concerted efforts to streamline the pilgrimage experience for individuals undertaking the Hajj. It grants them visas and provides essential services at their home country’s airports. Additionally, pilgrims are transported by buses to their accommodations in Makkah and Madina, and their luggage is conveniently delivered to them. This proactive approach aims to alleviate the challenges faced by pilgrims upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia annually renews such agreements with countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Morocco, and Bangladesh. The most recent renewal took place in May when Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Interior Minister visited Pakistan and held discussions with the then-Interior Minister, Rana Sanaullah.