ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday reviewed topics related to the services provided to Hajj pilgrims, and to the service of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Chaired by King Salman, the Cabinet discussed his directive to host thousands of pilgrims from all over the world each year as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah.
The program has benefited more than 52,000 pilgrims since its inception in 1996.
Media Minister Turki Al-Shabanah said the opening of water projects in Makkah and the holy sites reflects the Saudi leadership’s care and attention, SPA reported.
The opening of the water projects, which cost a total of more than SR1.3 billion ($346.6 million), coincides with this year’s pilgrimage season, to the benefit of pilgrims from around the world.
As one of Saudi Arabia’s most long-standing allies, Pakistan has particularly benefitted from Saudi Arabia’s commitment to Hajj services.
As an extension of services provided to Pakistani Hajj pilgrims this year, the Road to Makkah project was initiated in the country and aims to facilitate the 200,000 people expected to perform the obligatory religious ritual. It was during Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s February visit to Islamabad, that Prime Minister Imran Khan had requested him to include Pakistan in the project.
For this purpose, before the commencement of Hajj flights from Pakistan earlier this month, a team of Saudi officials arrived in the country to set up a pre-departure immigration system at Islamabad International Airport which significantly cuts down waiting times for pilgrims once they land in Saudi Arabia. The program is expected to be extended to other major airports in Pakistan in the years to come.
This year alone, nearly 30,000 Pakistani pilgrims are expected to benefit from the facility.
In addition to this, services to Pakistani pilgrims include a state-of-the-art Pakistan Hajj medical mission with 180 doctors, two hospitals and 18 ambulances.