Pakistan, Saudi Arabia sign agreement to facilitate pilgrims ahead of Hajj 2023


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement related to the arrangements of Hajj 2023 to facilitate pilgrims in the best possible way, reported the state-owned Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) news agency on Sunday.

The Hajj is an annual spiritual journey to Islam’s holy cities of Makkah and Madinah which is mandatory for all Muslim adults, at least once in a lifetime, who are physically and financially able to do it. The religious ritual is also among the five central pillars of Islam.

Last year, Saudi Arabia allowed one million people to perform the pilgrimage while also welcoming 83,132 individuals from Pakistan.

The two countries signed the agreement for this year during the ongoing Hajj Expo 2023 where a Pakistani delegation, led by the religious affairs minister Mufti Abdul Shakoor, met the kingdom’s Hajj minister Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah on Saturday.

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“On the occasion of the Hajj Expo 2023, the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah signed several collaboration agreements with various countries while meeting with various delegations,” reported the APP. “The agreements came under the development initiatives offered by the Kingdom to improve the experience of pilgrims during Hajj, Umrah, and Ziyarat.”

The APP said the agreement with Pakistan included allocation of Hajj quota, facilitation at airports, and other administrative guidelines related to the departure of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia upon completion of the Hajj.

The Hajj Expo 2023 is the largest gathering related to Hajj and Umrah, as it brought together over 60,000 visitors from more than 57 countries.

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The expo is held to exchange ideas, inventions and experiences while providing a platform to all countries to sign agreements and discuss the affairs of their citizens with the kingdom before the Hajj and Umrah season.

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