Saudi Arabian officials set up immigration counters at the Islamabad International Airport as part of Saudi Arabia’s Mecca Road Initiative to facilitate Hajj pilgrims’ journey to the Kingdom.
The initiative in Islamabad came into effect following Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s promise to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in February to ease Pakistani pilgrims’ journey by granting them e-Hajj visas and finalizing their entry procedures before they arrive in the Kingdom.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has implemented measures to simplify Hajj for pilgrims from Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Tunisia.
The ministry has been coordinating with international government agencies to finalize pilgrims’ entry procedures from their countries’ departure ports, said Ibrahim bin Abdulwahab al-Gharib, the director general of the information department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The pilgrims who arrive under the Mecca Road Initiative have their fingerprints taken and passports stamped in the country of departure. Their entry into Saudi Arabia is then processed like a domestic flight and their baggage is sent to their places of residence through the Ministry of Hajj.