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Pakistan to bring back over 100,000 stranded citizens

Pakistan to bring back over 100,000 stranded citizens

Pakistan is going to conduct a particular repatriation procedure to bring back thousands of citizens stranded over the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There are above 100,000 Pakistanis stranded in 88 nations, with a majority in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as per National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf.

“In the first phase, 30 special flights will be conducted from May 2 to May 10 to bring back our citizens,” he stated at a news conference in the capital Islamabad on Saturday.

He stated 15,000 Pakistanis had already been repatriated from 38 countries. Of the remaining, around 70,000 and 15,000 are in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, sequentially.

A lone taxi drives over a typically gridlocked highway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on April 6. Image Source: AP

Several countries, including the US, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, have permitted special flights by the national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

“The PIA yet does not have admittance to many of 88 countries where our citizens are stranded. But we are advancing alternative methods to bring them back,” said Yusuf.

“Laborers and everyday wagers, who suffered their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic or those whose visas have or are about to perish, will be brought back on preference.”

There are over 3.1 million Pakistanis in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Saudi Arabia, which alone hosts nearly two million Pakistanis, tops the list of countries with the most significant remittances to Pakistan, over $4.5 billion yearly, followed by the UAE with over $3.47 billion, as per reports from the State Bank of Pakistan.

Coronavirus Stats in Pakistan as of May 4, 2020. Graphic Source: covif.gov.pk

The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan, which is the hardest-hit country in South Asia after India, crosses 20,000 mark on Sunday night.

According to government tracker, there are now 20,186 confirmed cases in Pakistan with 462 deaths and 5,590 recoveries as of Monday morning.

The Punjab and Sindh provinces are the worst-affected areas with 7,524 and 7,456 cases, respectively. Whereas, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have 3,129, Baluchistan have 415, Gilgit-Baltistan have 364 & Azad-Jammu Kashmir have 71 confirmed cases. Capital City Islamabad reported 415 cases so far.

Tags : coronavirus pandemicCOVID-19Moeed YusufNational SecurityPakistan International AirlinesPakistani CitizensRemittancessaudi arabiaUAE

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