11,529 Pakistanis brought home from abroad: Shah Mehmood

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was on Tuesday told that so far 11,529 Pakistanis have been brought home from abroad, whereas a total of 62,709 registered Pakistanis are waiting for their return from the foreign countries.

During a visit to the Foreign Office, the minister visited different sections and put queries to the officials and employees to ascertain their performance. He also reviewed the steps taken for resolving the issues and complaints of expatriate Pakistanis. He was given a detailed briefing about Pakistanis waiting to return to their homeland in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

On the occasion, the foreign minister said they are fully cognizant of the issues and problems faced by expatriates and the government is utilizing all resources for their immediate return through a phased process.

Meanwhile, 50 stranded expats left for Pakistan via Sri Lankan Airlines flight UL 1185 from Colombo on Tuesday. Deputy High Commissioner Tanvir Ahmad was present on behalf of the high commissioner to see off the departing Pakistanis at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo. The returning nationals thanked the Pakistani government and the high commission for arranging their repatriation to the country. They also expressed satisfaction and acknowledged efforts of the high commission for welfare and well-being of the community members faced with difficulties in the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19.

The flight will return back to Colombo after taking back the Lankan citizens stranded in Pakistan. The repatriation of Pakistanis stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also continued as 286 more people stranded in Dubai landed at Karachi airport on Tuesday.

A special flight of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flew 286 people back to Karachi on Tuesday evening. Upon landing at the Karachi airport the flight was disinfected and the passengers went through a screening process and were later shifted to a quarantine facility. All the passengers and crew members have for now been quarantined at a local hotel. PIA had on Sunday announced to operate 21 more special flights from May 1 to 10 to repatriate stranded Pakistanis from the UAE. Out of the total 21, some 15 flights will be operated by the PIA while six flights will be handled by the UAE-based airlines. More than 4,600 passengers will be able to travel on these special flights.

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