Saudi Arabia has taken a significant step by extending the Umrah visa duration for Pakistani pilgrims to a generous 90 days. This extension offers pilgrims more time to embark on their sacred journey. The decision was announced by Dr. Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al Rabiah, the Saudi Minister for Hajj and Umrah, with the aim of promoting religious tourism within Saudi Arabia. Additionally, Dr. Tawfiq mentioned plans to open more locations in Makkah and Madinah to cater to pilgrims.
During a press conference alongside Pakistan’s caretaker Minister for Religious Affairs, Aneeq Ahmed, Dr. Tawfiq underscored the close bond between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. He emphasized their collaborative efforts to enhance the pilgrimage experience for Pakistani visitors.
Furthermore, Dr. Tawfiq disclosed Saudi Arabia’s intention to unveil 100 additional historical and religious sites in the holy cities, aimed at fostering religious tourism. He discussed ongoing initiatives to alleviate Hajj-related expenses for pilgrims and emphasized the robust friendship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
While in Pakistan, Dr. Tawfiq engaged with President Arif Alvi and caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar. President Alvi stressed the significance of the strong bilateral ties, particularly in economic aspects. He expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for its support of Muslim causes and commended Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for his endeavors in strengthening relations.
Similarly, the Saudi minister met with Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister, who warmly received the delegation and spoke positively about the enduring relationship between the two nations. The prime minister extended appreciation to Saudi Arabia for its dedicated care of Hajj pilgrims and expressed optimism that Pakistani pilgrims would continue to receive special attention.
These discussions underscored Saudi Arabia’s commitment to improving the pilgrimage experience and deepening its ties with Pakistan.