Saudi Arabia has increased the quota of Pakistani pilgrims for 2019 Hajj by five thousand.
According to a Spokesperson of Ministry of Religious Affairs, an agreement has been signed in this regard by Minister of Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri and his Saudi counterpart Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten.
Under the arrangement, 189,210 pilgrims will perform Hajj from Pakistan next year.
It has also been decided to include Pakistani pilgrims in ‘Road to Makkah’ project in phases. Initially, 35,000 pilgrims of Sindh will benefit from this scheme.
The project envisages completion of all immigration requirements at the airport of origin, saving precious time and energies of the intended pilgrims.
The process of verification and immigration of the pilgrims will be conducted at Karachi airport. According to the agreement, Pakistani pilgrims will be given e-visas.
The Pakistani side was told that the decision relating to abolishing of SAR 2,000 visa fee will be made after holding consultation with Saudi King Salman.
The Saudi authorities assured to consider further increase in the Hajj quota according to new census.
Pir Noor ul Haq Qadri expressed gratification to the Saudi authorities for implementing suggestions put forth by Pakistan.