KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday urged the newly appointed Saudi Arabian Consul General in Karachi to ease out the process of issuance of visas to prospective pilgrims of Umrah from Sindh.
The Sindh CM made this request as he met the new Consul General of Saudi Arabia in Karachi Obaidullah Al-Harbi here at Chief Minister House.
In the meeting, the Sindh CM raised the issue that intending pilgrims and other prospective visitors of Saudi Arabia belonging to Sindh were made to go through the procedure of bio-metric identification and verification twice without any valid reason.
He said that prospective visitors of Saudi Arabia from Sindh first had to go through the procedure of biometric verification in Karachi and then again after reaching Saudi Arabia.
Murad Shah stated that people in Sindh should be facilitated with easing out the process of issuance of visa of Saudi Arab to them.
He said that a large number of Haj and Umrah pilgrims from Pakistan belonged to Sindh every year but they had to face certain difficulties and problems in issuance of visas and in other such matters.
The Sindh CM said that he would contact the federal interior minister in Islamabad so to provide required assistance to Saudi Arabian immigration authorities so that prospective visitors of Saudi Arabia from Sindh should not be required to go through the process of bio-metric identification twice.
The Saudi Arabian consul general assured the CM that he would play his due part to get the problems regarding immigration and issuance of Saudi visas to people of Sindh resolved at the earliest.
He also appreciated the services and role of the Sindh government to restore law and order situation in Karachi as owing to such efforts, foreign investment in the provincial capital would soon increase manifold.
The meeting between the two authorities took into consideration matters of mutual interest. Consensus emerged between the two to ease out the process of immigration and issuance of Saudi Arabian visas to people of Sindh to the maximum possible extent.
Meanwhile, Sindh CM met at Chief Minister House Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah belonging to PPP and discussed with him matters of mutual interest.