HomeInternational NewsWings of Faith: 55 % Pakistani Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia

Wings of Faith: 55 % Pakistani Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia

By Muhammad Aslam

MAKKAH AL-MUKARRAMAH, May 26 (APP): A month-long pre-Hajj flight operation, started on May 9 to transport around 70,105 intending Pakistani pilgrims to the holy cities of Saudi Arabia to perform the religious obligation of Hajj under the government scheme, is continuing as per the smooth pace and announced schedule.

“By Sunday, collectively as many as 38,150 Pakistani pilgrims, which constitutes almost 54.35 per cent of the total, have reached Madinah and Makkah,” official sources at the Pakistan Hajj Mission told APP.

By May 23, they said, 146 flights of different airlines operated from major cities of Pakistan to the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, airlifting 34,407 intending pilgrims.

From May 17, the Hajj Mission started sending bus-caravans of Pakistani pilgrims to Makkah, who completed their eight-day stay in Madinah and offered 40 prayers at Masjid-e-Nabvi (SAW).

So far, more than 23,464 Pakistani pilgrims have reached Makkah from Madinah, under a real-time GPS tracking system, being utilized for the first time by Pakistan, to track the movement of its Hajj caravans aimed at ensuring their timely and secure travel.

“This innovative approach aims to ensure a seamless and timely journey for the pilgrims,” Incharge of the Madinah Departure Cell Dr Shahid Ur Rehman Marth told APP in an interview.

A dedicated team of highly skilled professionals, he said, was monitoring the 100 percent movement of each bus-caravan coming from Madinah, bringing Pakistani Hajj pilgrims to Makkah al Mukarramah, the final convergence destination for the obligatory acts of Hajj starting from the 8th of Zilhajj.

Currently, around 80-85 buses operate daily between Madinah al-Munawwarah and Makkah al-Mukarramah, covering a 450-kilometer distance in approximately 8-9 hours, Dr Shahid added.

He said the live monitoring enabled the team to track the journey, including stopovers at Mīqāt Dhu al-Ḥulayfah (Masjid ash-Shajarah) to enter the Ihram, and the rest areas for prayer and refreshment.

In case of any breakdown, the Incharge Madinah Departure Cell said, replacement buses were provided within half an hour to continue the journey uninterrupted.

He was of the view that all Pakistani Hajj pilgrims, who arrived at Madinah in the first leg of their spiritual journey, would be transported to Makkah by June 1-2.

“The caravans are being dispatched in line with the sequence of their arrival dates in Madinah, under the single route Hajj. Elaborating the single-route system,” they said, adding all Pakistani Hujjaj who arrived in Madinah were going to Makkah to perform the religious obligation of Hajj and then would return to Pakistan from Jeddah.

“The same course will be adopted for those arriving in Makkah for Hajj, following which they will visit Madinah before returning to their home countries.”

From May 24 to June 09, as many as 114 flights will be operating to airlift around 34,422 Pakistanis from major cities to Jeddah.

By Sunday, as many as 4,424 Pakistani Hujjaj had arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah.

This year, 179,210 Pakistanis will perform the Hajj under the government and private schemes

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