Published On: Sat, Sep 10th, 2016

We need planes to bring Pakistanis back from KSA, says FO


ISLAMABAD: The government claimed on Saturday that it wanted to bring home some 2,000 Pakistanis stranded in Saudi Arabia before Eid-ul-Azha but it was short of planes to materialise their plan.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammed Nafees Zakaria while speaking to ARY News today said that the federal government was willing to bring back all the Pakistanis trapped behind the bars for months in the friendly Muslim country before this Eid but the lack of planes was a big issue for Islamabad.

Admitting that the number of Pakistanis stuck in the Saudi Kingdom was in thousands, the spokesperson revealed that their loans were already written off through diplomatic channels.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) ARY Digital Network Mr Salman Iqbal had announced to bear all expenses for repatriation of Pakistanis stranded in Saudi Arabia earlier this month following the news of around 2,000 Pakistanis trapped in Riyadh prison emerged.

Pakistani nationals in KSA were of the view that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government was not taking enough measures for their early release and appealed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to help them reach Pakistan.

The prime minister later had directed the Foreign Office to offer all-out help to the stranded Pakistani workers in the Saudi city of Riyadh.

PIA comes to rescue

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has shown its willingness in Saturday to help the government in bringing back thousands of helpless Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia after Islamabad cited non-availability of planes as a justification for the delay.

Chairman of the national carrier, Azam Sehgal lauded ARY’s efforts in raising voice for highly dependent and despondent Pakistanis in KSA and said, Mr Salman Iqbal hard work was highly commendable in this matter.

Mr Sehgal said once they get a go-ahead from the foreign ministry, a special plane would be dispatched to Saudi Arabia soon.

In the past as well, PIA has helped and played a responsible role when Pakistanis caught in Yemen needed help from their country.

Courtesy ARY News

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology