Coronavirus pandemic: India allows 193 stranded Pakistanis to return on May 5

The Indian government has allowed 193 Pakistanis stranded in the country due to the coronavirus lockdown, to return on May 5.

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The Indian External Affairs Ministry has directed state police chiefs to facilitate the travel of the stranded Pakistanis back to their country via the Attari-Wagah border crossing next week. The Pakistani nationals have been told to arrive at the border early Tuesday to begin the formal process of their return.

The Indian External Affairs Ministry said only asymptomatic persons will be allowed to return to Pakistan. “It is requested that all returning Pakistan nationals may be screened as per international norms and existing provisions of the Government of India and only asymptomatic individuals may be allowed to return,” said Dammu Ravi, additional secretary of the ministry, to the state governments.

According to The Hindustan Times, the directives by the Indian government had been issued after the Pakistan high commission requested facilitation for Pakistani citizens in returning to their country.

Last month, a smaller group of Pakistanis had returned from Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The 193 Pakistanis who will return to their country on May 5 were stranded across 25 districts in 10 states: Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi.

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