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Saudi minister says Umrah visa duration increased to 90 days for Pakistani pilgrims

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  • Saudi minister ensures facilitation of Pakistan pilgrims.
  • 100 historical and religious sites to open in two holy cities.
  • Saudi govt making efforts to reduce Hajj expenses for pilgrims.


ISLAMABAD: Umrah visa for Pakistani pilgrims has been extended up to 90 days and more sites in Makkah and Madinah will be opened for pilgrims to promote religious tourism in Saudi Arabia, Dr Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al Rabiah, the Saudi minister for Hajj and Umrah said.

Dr Tawfiq announced the Saudi government’s decision during a joint press conference with caretaker Minister for Religious Affairs Aneeq Ahmed.

The pilgrims coming to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan will be facilitated during their religious pilgrimage, the minister said, while assuring a close working relationship between the Pakistani and Saudi authorities in this regard.

He added that another 100 historical and religious places are being opened in the two holy cities to promote religious tourism. Dr Tawfiq also spoke about Riyadh’s efforts to reduce Hajj expenses for pilgrims, as both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy brotherly relations.

During his stay in Pakistan, the minister said he held discussions on many important issues, while civil aviation authorities of the two countries signed an agreement according to which the number of flights between the two countries would be increased.

His Pakistan counterpart demanded that Pakistanis above 65 years of age desiring to perform Hajj and Umrah be exempted from the biometric condition. He said he requested the provision of alternative sites for Pakistan Houses in Makkah and Madinah due to an extension in the premises of the two holy mosques.

Meanwhile, Dr Tawfiq also called on President Arif Alvi and caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar separately. Dr Alvi called for further strengthening bilateral ties with Saudi Arabia, especially in the realm of economy.

He said Pakistan highly valued its relations with the kingdom, which were based on common faith, shared history and people-to-people ties. Highlighting the key investment areas in IT, renewable energy, industrial and infrastructure development sectors of Pakistan, Dr Alvi emphasised the need to expand bilateral trade.

The president thanked Saudi Arabia for making excellent arrangements for Hajj this year and hoped it would expedite the purchase of Pakistan House in Madina from the compensation amount of two Pakistan Houses demolished.

He appreciated the kingdom for its steadfast support for important Muslim causes, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Palestine, and Afghanistan through the forum of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He lauded the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for normalisation of relations with Iran.

Later, the Saudi minister called on the caretaker prime minister who welcomed the delegation and expressed satisfaction on the positive trajectory of bilateral relations with the kingdom. He lauded the vision of Mohammed Bin Salman and said Pakistan would always remain a trusted partner of Saudi Arabia.

He thanked the Saudi leadership for making excellent arrangements for Hujjaj (pilgrims) from all over the world during this year’s Hajj season, particularly Pakistanis.

He hoped that Pakistani Hajj and Umrah pilgrims would continue to receive special treatment from the Saudi side. He thanked Saudi Arabia for its interest in investment opportunities in Pakistan under the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

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US envoy urges deeper strengthening of relations with Pakistan

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The significance of strengthening relations with Pakistan was highlighted by US Ambassador Donald Blome on Thursday.

Blome visited the Chaukhandi cemetery in Karachi, based on the information. President Donald Blome and other delegates were cordially welcomed by Sindh Minister of Culture and Tourism Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah on this particular occasion.

Narendra Kumar, Heather Murphy, and Zahra Hajiani were among the delegation members who visited Chaukhandi Graveyard’s historic tombs with the American envoy, Acting Consul General Jimmy Mauldin.

Highlighting the rich historical significance of Chaukhandi graveyard, Minister Zulfiqar Ali Shah shared his ideas with the US ambassador.

Blome highlighted the Chaukhandi tombs for their exquisite craftsmanship and architectural design. He promised to help Pakistani visitors with their visa requirements.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), he promised to promote the nation’s historical sites.

In the meantime, Shah stated, “The Sindh government is taking steps to provide all sorts of facilities to the tourists.”

Pakistan will receive additional assistance from the US to lower methane gas emissions.

The US decided to help Pakistan lower its methane gas emissions earlier this month.

At a USAID Climate Financing event, US Ambassador Blome stated: “We are working very hard to lower methane gas emissions from dairy farming. The Green Climate Fund in Pakistan will be consulted for funding this initiative.”

“As of 2030, there are global efforts to reduce the temperature by 1 degree Celsius. The US-Pakistan Green Alliance is being followed by the collaboration with Pakistan, according to Blome.

“The problems can only be addressed by providing the stakeholders with financial and technical resources,” he continued.

The government’s first aim is to revitalise the cattle industry, according to Federal Secretary Dr. Fakhre Alam. Raising dairy farming’s production capacity will help it overcome its environmental problems.”

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Shehbaz travels to the UAE in order to strengthen trade relations.

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This visit, which is being accompanied by a high-level delegation made up of important ministers such as Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Commerce Minister Jam Kamal, Information Minister Ataullah Tarar, and advisor Tariq Fatemi, is intended to strengthen bilateral ties and expand cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Sharif will visit President Muhammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi. The high-level gathering will cover Pakistani and UAE bilateral relations, with an emphasis on commerce and investment.

Along with exploring strategic alliances and shared interests that can help their respective nations, they are also expected to concentrate on talking about ways to advance collaboration across a range of industries.

Prime Minister Sharif has talks planned with other Emirati leaders, businesspeople, and heads of financial organisations in addition to his diplomatic engagements. In an effort to promote economic cooperation and draw in investment, he is also scheduled to meet with businessmen and investors from Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

The Shehbaz intends to encourage UAE companies to extend their operations into the Pakistani market by interacting with influential businesspeople and highlighting investment prospects in Pakistan.

These exchanges will offer a forum for talking about doable ways to strengthen business relations and carry out initiatives that will benefit both parties. Pakistan’s determination to enhance its political and economic ties with the United Arab Emirates is demonstrated by the visit.

After ending his day-long journey to Iran to offer condolences for the terrible death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage in a helicopter crash on Sunday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has returned to Pakistan.

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Memon accuses temporary government of ‘delaying’ the BRT Red Line project

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On Thursday, Sindh Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon accused the interim administration of “delaying” the Red Line project of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

Memon stated what he thought, saying, “The BRT Red Line project was mission impossible. However, the project has now begun to be worked on.”

“The reason government is formed is to solve the issues that the people face. “The government is working tirelessly to bring relief to the masses,” he declared.

Memon declared, “It’s also being done about the unlawful bus stands. The passengers will have access to shuttle service from us.”

“A large number of transport projects have already begun. “We aim to ensure that every individual receives a chance to work,” he continued.

Pakistan was ‘started to damage’ by the founder of PTI.

Memon reported on Thursday that a campaign to hurt the nation was started by the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Memon said at a Karachi event: “Israel discusses the human rights violations in Pakistan. Israel, a party to the Palestinian holocaust, is endorsing the PTI’s founder. Israel has provided election funding to the PTI’s founder.”

“The worst election tampering in 2018 produced the PTI founder’s victory. Police officers, the parliament, and the PTV were all attacked,” he claimed.

“The entire country was closed due to a 126-day protest,” Memon claimed.

The PTI founder was made fun of by Memon, who said, “The PTI founder had always embraced the politics of anarchy.”

Memon stated the following when discussing the state of law and order in Sindh: “The Sindh government is serious about the state of law and order in the province. In terms of keeping Sindh peaceful, everyone is in agreement.”

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