'Road to Makkah' project facilitates over 26,000 Hajj pilgrims from Islamabad Airport.

ISLAMABAD -- Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood and Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, in a landmark development, inaugurated the 'Road to Makkah' project at the Islamabad International Airport on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference, Minister Talha said the project aimed at streamlining the immigration and customs procedures for the intending pilgrims departing from the federal capital, enabling them to swiftly embark on their spiritual journey.

The inauguration ceremony witnessed the presence of senior officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Civil Aviation Authority, Anti-Narcotics, Airport Security Force, and members of the media.

Minister Talha explained that the initiative would expedite the processing of pilgrims at the Saudi airport in order to minimize wait times, allowing them to proceed directly to their designated buses upon arrival.

This year, over 26,000 pilgrims would benefit from this efficient facility, a notable increase from the 16,000 pilgrims served last year, he added.

He further emphasized the government's commitment to expanding the 'Road to Makkah' project to other airports in Pakistan, stating that plan was underway to extend this convenient service to additional cities, Lahore and Karachi next year.

The recent visit of the Saudi Deputy Interior Minister to Pakistan had been instrumental in strengthening bilateral cooperation, he added.

Anticipating a record-breaking number of pilgrims, he affirmed that meticulous arrangements had been made to ensure a smooth Hajj experience for the estimated 180,000 Pakistanis who would perform the pilgrimage this year.

He clarified that the provision of free Hajj would not be permitted, and instead, efforts were being made to provide comprehensive assistance to the pilgrims, including dedicated Hajj assistants to guide them throughout their...

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