Weekly two flights set for Pakistanis to return home: Zulfi


By Syed Mussarat Khalil

Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari said that two weekly flights will be operated to Saudi Arabia to repatriate compatriots.

He made this announcement via an online video link at Pakistan Embassy Riyadh and Consulate General Jeddah on Wednesday.

Ambassador Raja Ali Aijaz presided over the meeting Consul General Khalid Majid, Zulqarnain Ali Khan, chairman utility stores Pakistan, Aqeel Arain, PTI president Saudi Arabia, Chaudhry Shabriz Akhtar Suwia PTI president Riyadh Region and Abdullah Malik, PTI general secretary Riyadh were in the meeting.

Motivational Speaker Tassaduq Gilani, Gulzeb Kayani, President Pakistan Doctors Group Dr. Asad Roomi, General Secretary Jeddah Khwaja Hammad, Senior Vice President Tariq Nadeem, Finance Secretary Shoaib Altaf, Women Secretary Saudi Arabia Sana Shoaib and other prominent community members from different parts of Kingdom also attended.

Zulfi Bukhari listened online to the changing situation and the problems faced by Pakistanis abroad. He said that about 15,000 workers have lost their jobs in Saudi Arabia, while about 4,000 in Saudi Arabia are on visit visas who could not return due to the closure of flights.

For them two flights will be operated, the number of which can be increased. In all these flights, the bodies of those who died in Saudi Arabia will also be sent to Pakistan. He added, we are also trying to start the repatriation of residency (Iqama) holders as soon as possible.

Zulfi said, “We are collecting data on all such unemployed workers and their families. Pakistani philanthropists are helping the needy in Jeddah so that rations can be delivered to them through the Embassy and Consulate of Pakistan.”

Zulfi Bukhari said that efforts would be made to provide fee concessions to students of Pakistani schools in Saudi Arabia.

250 Pakistanis depart from Jeddah to Lahore

On Friday, PIA Special Flight PK 8710 carrying 250 stranded Pakistanis departed from Jeddah for Lahore. Pakistan's Consul General Khalid Majid and Deputy Consul General Shaiq Ahmed Bhutto were present at the airport to see them off.

Over 13,000 Pakistanis, mostly on short term visas and final exits, are currently stuck in Saudi Arabia due to the cancelation of international flights in the wake of outbreak of coronavirus. The Pakistan government is arranging special flights for their return to Pakistan.