ISLAMABAD: A 40-member Saudi team arrived Islamabad on Sunday for 60 days stay to initiate Road to Makkah project from Islamabad airport during Hajj Operation, 2019.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri welcomed the Saudi delegation and presented a bouquet.
The Saudi team will take over the responsibilities at Islamabad airport tomorrow, said a report.
Minister for Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri said that after the success of Road to Makkah project in Islamabad, the project will be expanded to include other cities of the country.
The Minister appreciated the role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman who played a role in granting of this facility to Pakistani pilgrims. He said the project has started on an experimental basis at Islamabad Airport and later it will be expanded to include Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad and other cities.
“Two and three new cities will be added into the project next year,” he added. The Minister termed the granting of e-visa facility to Pakistani pilgrims by Saudi authorities a good step as it was a long-standing demand of Pakistan.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had announced on June 27 the schedule of pre-Hajj flight operations for Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport.
According to the schedule, first pre-Hajj flight of a private airline will depart from Karachi on July 5. The flight, PA-1760 would leave for Saudi Arabia with over 180 intending pilgrims on board.
From Karachi, the first PIA Hajj flight, PK-743, will depart at 7:00 pm with 225 passengers on board for Medina on July 5.
Sources said that over 25,081 intending pilgrims would be transported to Saudi Arabia through 95 flights during the Hajj operation from Karachi and added that the operation would continue till August 6. —NNI