ISLAMABAD, Apr 2 (APP):A 14 member Saudi delegation headed by Director General Immigration Major General Sulaiman Al Yahya and Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, stake holders Tuesday threadbare discussed preparations to include Pakistan in Road to Makkah Project.
Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Mushtaq Ahmed briefed the delegation about the preparations. Both sides were agreed to provide optimum and hassle free facilities to Pakistani pilgrims. Saudi ambassador Nawaf Al Malki was also present.
Secretary told delegation that the pilgrims of Government Hajj Scheme were being imparted comprehensive training in three phases on Hajj rituals and Saudi laws to enable them to perform religious obligation in hassle free environment.
He said Ministry would send 1790 Moavineen-e- Hujjaj including 552 medical mission to provide medical aid to pilgrims. Three airlines, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Air Blue and Saudi Airline have been tasked to carry pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. Ministry hired 200 buildings for providing resident facilities to pilgrims. Efforts were underway to get accommodation at Markazia.
He said Eitemaad has been asked to provide mobile biometric services to people of far flung areas of the country.
The Government has hired the services of 13 catering companies in Makkah and similarly 13 catering companies would serve food to Hujjaj in Medina.
Saudi delegation will visit Islamabad International Airport on Wednesday to review arrangement for immigration of Hujjaj.
Secretary said Pakistan’s total Hajj quota was 184,210 including 107,526 from Government Scheme and 76,684 through private scheme.
The representatives of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Civil Aviation Authority, Customs, Anti Narcotics Force, FIA, airlines participated in the discussions.
The delegation expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made in the country regarding Road to Makkah project. The main aim of the project to provide maximum facilities to pilgrims. Optimum efforts underway to ease immigration facilities. The luggage of pilgrims would be directly send to their respective residences.
The representatives of both countries held group discussions and told each other about facilities being offered to pilgrims.