Special Saudi flight brings back 226 Pakistani Umrah pilgrims to Multan

Pakistani Umrah pilgrims arrive at the airport in Jeddah to board a special Saudi flight to Multan on April 18, 2020. Members of Pakistan's diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia can also been seen in the picture. (Courtesy: Pakistan Consulate General in Jeddah)
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Updated 18 April 2020

Special Saudi flight brings back 226 Pakistani Umrah pilgrims to Multan

  • Thousands of Pakistanis were in the Kingdom when international flights were suspended to contain the coronavirus
  • A special Saudi airplane also brought back 223 Pakistanis to Lahore on Wednesday

ISLAMABAD: A special Saudi Airlines flight that departed from Jeddah with 226 Pakistani Umrah pilgrim in the morning arrived in Multan on Saturday.

The flight was previously scheduled to take off on Thursday, but it was postponed by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for administrative reasons.

Thousands of Pakistani nationals were visiting the Kingdom to perform their pilgrimage when the coronavirus pandemic forced countries around the world to suspend international air travel and announce strict lockdowns.

While the pilgrims discontinued their journey to Islam’s holiest cities of Makkah and Madinah, not all of them could fly back to their country before the lockdown was imposed due to air traffic congestion and had to prolong their stay in the Arab state.

Pakistan’s Consul General in Jeddah Khalid Majid and Deputy Consul General Shaiq Ahmed Bhutto were present at the airport to interact with the pilgrims before the flight departed.

A special Saudi Airlines flight brought back 223 Pakistani pilgrims to Lahore on Wednesday. According to an official handout circulated by the country’s diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia, about 470 Pakistani Umrah pilgrims have now returned to their country through these two special Saudi Airlines flights.

Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Raja Ali Ejaz, and its consul general in Jeddah conveyed sincere gratitude of their government to the top Saudi authorities for extending special hospitality and treatment to the Pakistani pilgrims.

They particularly appreciated the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for making suitable boarding, lodging and medical arrangements during the prolonged stay of the Pakistani nationals in the Kingdom.

According to the federal government, hundreds of Pakistanis are still stranded in different parts of the world and the authorities are striving to bring them by operating special flights.

The country’s senior officials also informed Arab News on Wednesday that the returning Pakistanis will not only be screened for COVID-19 but also quarantined for a week to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

King Salman congratulates President Alvi on Pakistan’s Independence Day

Updated 13 August 2020

King Salman congratulates President Alvi on Pakistan’s Independence Day

  • The Saudi king wished the Pakistani president good health and prayed for the prosperity of Pakistani people
  • Saudi envoy in Islamabad also recorded an Independence Day message in Urdu that went viral on social media

ISLAMABAD: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud sent a message of felicitation to Pakistan’s President Dr. Arif Alvi on Thursday, congratulating him on the 74th Independence Day of his country that will be celebrated on Friday.
The king reached out to the Pakistani head of the state on behalf of his government and people of Saudi Arabia, wishing him good health and praying for the progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.
Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki also recorded an Independence Day message in Urdu that went viral on social media. 

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed cordial relations with each other. The Kingdom has been among of the biggest job providers to Pakistanis and the greatest source of foreign remittances for the South Asian nation.
The two countries have also witnessed leadership level exchanges since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government assumed the political leadership of Pakistan. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman undertook a high-profile visit to Islamabad in February 2019, and Prime Minister Imran Khan also went to the Kingdom several times during his tenure in the office.
The Saudi king and ambassadors are also among the first foreign leaders and envoys who have issued the Independence Day messages to congratulate the government and people of Pakistan.