Saudi ministry hosts stranded Pakistani pilgrims

Saudi ministry hosts stranded Pakistani pilgrims
A temporary closure of air space over Pakistan snarled air traffic. (File/AFP)
Updated 01 March 2019

Saudi ministry hosts stranded Pakistani pilgrims

Saudi ministry hosts stranded Pakistani pilgrims
  • A temporary closure of air space over Pakistan snarled air traffic
  • The closing of Pakistan's airspace saw Gulf Arab airlines rapidly reshuffle their flights

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah will host Pakistani pilgrims to Makkah and Madinah who are unable to return home as a result of the outbreak in hostilities with India in Kashmir.

The announcement came after Islamabad closed its airspace, airports and canceled all flights in and out of the country. 

Planes flying to Pakistan from Jeddah, and Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah, will be grounded until further notice.

The Kingdom’s undersecretary for Umrah affairs, Abdulaziz Wazzan, said the ministry had opened reception centers to accommodate and feed any pilgrims whose flights had been canceled, and would continue to do so until alternatives could be arranged.

He said that the ministry was housing 2,000 Pakistani pilgrims in hotels in Makkah, with another 1,000 in Madinah. 

The welfare and safety of the pilgrims, Wazzan said, was their main priority.