The first flight to take off from Islamabad under the Road to Makkah project has reached Madina.
Under this new project, immigration and other formalities of intending pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia are being completed at Islamabad airport. For this purpose, special counters manned by Saudi officials have been set up.
A Saudi immigration team had arrived in Islamabad earlier in the week and set up special immigration counters at the airport.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had formally inaugurated the Road to Makkah project at the Islamabad International Airport. He saw off 442 intending Haj pilgrims travelling by the PIA flight.
The prime minister was accompanied by Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Saudi Immigration Director-General Major General Suleman Abdul Aziz.
The Road to Makkah programme is a pilot project being started from Islamabad airport and will be extended to other airports of the country in subsequent years.
A spokesperson of the Ministry of Religious Affairs had termed the project a gift from Saudi Arabia to Pakistani intending pilgrims.
The Road to Makkah is also an autobiography of Muslim scholar, intellectual, political theorist and spiritual writer Muhammad Asad.
It is a combination of memoir and travelogue and tells the story of a convert to Islam who had crossed the spiritual deserts of Europe and the sand deserts of Arabia, on a trek that brought him ultimately to the oasis of Islamic belief.
Asad tried to affect the course of contemporary Islam, as an author, activist, diplomat, and translator of the Quran.