COVID-19: Pakistan to bring home 4000 citizens from UAE via special flights

Over 1000 nationals stranded in UAE return home as Pakistan begins special flights amid coronavirus pandemic

Pakistan is determined to bring hone 4000+ nationals from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) between April 20-28 as directed by Prime Minister Imran Khan, says Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari.

More than 1000 stranded Pakistanis have returned home via special flights on April 20. At least 250 passengers arrived in Peshawar from Dubai on an Emirates Airlines and 250 others from Sharjah arrived in Multan. Three flights carrying hundreds of Pakistani citizens reached Karachi and Lahore earlier.

Thousands of nationals registered with the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi to come back home amid flight suspensions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Over 10,000 Pakistani nationals in UAE may have lost their jobs due to economic crisis as per the recent data collected by the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai, Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul General of Pakistan to Dubai told media.

Pakistan speeded up the repatriation after UAE cautioned to review labor ties with countries refusing to repatriate their citizens.

More than 40,000 Pakistanis have registered with the consulate to return home from UAE. There are roughly 1.6 million Pakistanis living and working in the UAE. Those with expired residencies were granted a three-month extension. 

Pakistan began the third phase of the repatriation of citizens on April 20 which will continue till April 28. Around 20 flights have been scheduled to bring back Pakistan national from the UAE, Bahrain, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea and Australia, the Foreign Ministry said.

UAE Ambassador appreciate Pakistan’s help

UAE ambassador to Pakistan, Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi, thanked Pakistan government for facilitating the repatriation of Emirati citizens from Pakistan.

He thanked SAPM Zulfi Bukhari and also appreciated the pace of work and communication between Emirati and Pakistani officials amid COVID through the use of technology to coordinate for the repatriation of citizens.

Foreign Minister Qureshi thank UAE FM for support

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called UAE Foreign Minister, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on April 20. He thanked the UAE government for support to Pakistan in combating COVID-19 as well as for releasing 400 Pakistani prisoners, and their subsequent repatriation to Pakistan. He also informed him of the efforts being made by the government for repatriation of the stranded Pakistanis from UAE to Pakistan.

The two Foreign Ministers agreed on the importance of enhanced bilateral cooperation to jointly address the challenges. Foreign Minister Qureshi apprised his UAE counterpart about the latest situation of the outbreak in Pakistan and the steps being taken by the Government for its containment.

Sana Jamal
Storyteller. Avid Reader. Learner to the core.

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