DiplomaticQuarter: Repatriation of Pakistanis stranded in Saudi Arabia continues

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Time: 21 May, 2020

RIYADH: Two PIA flights departed from Jeddah on Monday, each carrying 130 Pakistani nationals to Faisalabad, according to Pakistan’s Consulate General in Jeddah.

Pakistan’s consul general in Jeddah, Khalid Majid, and deputy consul general, Shaiq Ahmed Bhutto, were present at the airport to see them off.

Many Pakistanis, most of whom are on short-term visas, awaiting final exit, or are classified as medical emergencies have been awaiting the opportunity to return home from Saudi Arabia after the suspension of international flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government of Pakistan has started a series of special flights to repatriate Pakistanis stranded in various countries, including Saudi Arabia.

The Pakistani Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Jeddah are coordinating arrangements for these special PIA (Pakistani International Airlines) flights in their respective regions.

The Pakistani Embassy in Riyadh assisted in the repatriation of 250 Pakistanis to Lahore on May 14. That was the second repatriation flight from Riyadh since the suspension of flights in the Kingdom on March 15. The first departed for Islamabad on May 1.

Priority has been given to those traveling due to emergencies, medical issues, expiring iqamas or visit visas, final exit and laid-off workers, the embassy spokesman told Arab News.

Speaking to Pakistanis who had come to the embassy to purchase flight tickets, Ambassador Raja Ali Ejaz said the embassy is taking all possible measures for the safe and quick return of Pakistanis from the Kingdom.

This article was first published in Arab News

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