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Saudi delegation arrives in Pakistan to expand 'Road to Makkah' initiative

04:09 PM | 6 Mar, 2024
Saudi delegation arrives in Pakistan to expand 'Road to Makkah' initiative

KARACHI - A delegation from Saudi Arabia examined different sections of the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi for extending the 'Road to Makkah' Initiative to facilitate Pakistani pilgrims.

The 12-member delegation, welcomed by the Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, also met senior officials of relevant departments in Karachi including the Civil Aviation Authority, Customs and Immigration and Anti-Narcotics Force to explore the expansion of the initiative. 

The 'Road to Makkah' Initiative, an integral part of Saudi Arabia's Guests of God Service Program, aims to diversify the kingdom's economy and under this, pilgrims undergo immigration procedures at their respective countries' airports.

Pakistan's Ministry of Religious Affairs had previously expressed intentions to expand the Makkah Route Initiative to airports in cities besides Islamabad, with Karachi notably in the spotlight; the facility is only available at the Islamabad International Airport at the moment.

According to the CAA, Pakistani Hajj pilgrims might be spared the immigration process at Jeddah airport after completing the procedure at Lahore and Karachi airports under the initiative for this year's pilgrimage.

The total number of seats allocated to Pakistan for the upcoming Hajj is around 180,000 but these include the seats allocated to the private Hajj operators also.

To attract the applicants, the government had also permitted those who had performed Hajj in the last 5 years to apply for the upcoming Hajj. The authorities have introduced the Short Hajj package for the pilgrims while the Sponsorship Scheme is also valid for this year as well.

As far as the Long Hajj is concerned, it would encompass 38-42 days with 8 days stay in Medinah and those flying from the South region i.e. Karachi, and Sukkhur would have to pay Rs 10,65,000 while those from other cities i.e. Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabad would pay Rs 10,75,000.

For Sponsorship scheme applicants, the cost is $3765 for the South Region while it is $ 3800 for the North Region for those opting for the Long Hajj package.

For the Short Hajj package, the cost for regular Hajj applicants is Rs 11,40,000 for the South region while the cost is Rs 11,50,000 for the North region; the Hajj would continue for 20-25 days under this scheme.

For the Sponsorship Scheme, the cost for Short Hajj is $ 4015 USD for the South region and $ 4050 for North region. This year’s pilgrimage is expected to run from June 14 till June 19.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pakistani rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 17 April 2024

Pakistani currency saw minor adjustment against global currencies on April 17, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293.15 for buying and 296.1 for selling while British Pound stands at 344.25 for buying, and 347.6 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.4 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 17 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.4 280.4
Euro EUR 293.15 296.1
UK Pound Sterling GBP 344.25 347.6
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45 76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.26 911.26
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.24 58.84
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.75 166.75
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.37 77.07
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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