Home News ‘Road to Makkah’ Project to be launched at Karachi Airport

‘Road to Makkah’ Project to be launched at Karachi Airport

‘Road to Makkah’ Project to be launched at Karachi Airport
Saudi Ambassador meets Sindh Chief Minister

‘Road to Makkah’ project is aimed at easing immigration formalities for Hajj pilgrims; Saudi Ambassador discusses the project with Sindh Chief Minister   

Staff Report
Karachi, Sindh

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Ambassador of Saudi Arabia Mr. Nawaf Saeed A. Al Maliky in their meeting at CM House Karachi on Wednesday March 6, discussed the Road to Makkah Project and agreed to fulfil all the requirements at the earliest to implement the project.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Dr. Fakhre Alam, Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab, Federal Secretary Atta ur Rehman, Secretary of Hajj Affairs Mohammad M. Albejawi of Saudi Arabia and others.

The Road to Makkah project is a mechanism for shifting the immigration and customs clearance process from Saudi Arabia to airports of Pakistan aimed at relieving Hajj pilgrims from the ordeal of immigration and customs clearance upon landing at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The chief minister said that the project was very important and he was keen to see it implemented for the Hajj pilgrims of Sindh at Jinnah Terminal.

CM Sindh - Saudi Ambassador- Sindh CourierThe Ambassador of Saudi Arabia told the CM that the pilot project of ‘The Road to Makkah initiative was implemented in 2019 at Islamabad International Airport. In 2019, some 22,000 Hajj pilgrims travelled through this project. In 2022 and 2023, Road to Makkah Project was again implemented through Islamabad Airport and 15,629 and 26,546 pilgrims respectively travelled through it.

After successful completion, the Prime Minister’s Office directed for up-scaling of the said initiative to other four airports – Karachi, Lahore Quetta and Peshawar. Efforts were made to extend the project, however, the MOU between both Governments was signed on 17th May 2023.

It was told that several meetings were held with stakeholders in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to deliberate upon the requirements of Saudi Authorities and action to be taken by all Ministries/Divisions/Departments. Finally, after consensus on commitment and action plan, the readiness for extension of the project to International Airports in Karachi and Lahore was conveyed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 31 October 2023.

Read: Makkah Halal Forum 2024: Pakistan signs partnership agreement with Saudi trade bodies’ coalition

A delegation, led by Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, also visited Jinnah International Airport on March 5 to survey the area to be allocated at the Airport and met with relevant authorities such as Customs, Immigration, Anti-Narcotic Force, Airport Security Force and Civil Aviation Authority.

The CM was told that almost all the formalities had been completed to start the project. The CM thanked the Saudi Authorities and the ambassador for taking a personal interest in the implementation of the project.




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