Over 60,000 stranded Pakistanis await repatriation from abroad, FM Qureshi told

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday was briefed that about 62,709 registered Pakistanis await repatriation from abroad, whereas, 11,529 Pakistanis have been brought back so far.

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The minister was apprised during a visit to the Emergency Crisis Management Unit established at the Foreign Office in Islamabad.

“Government is utilising all possible resources to bring back stranded Pakistanis to home in a phased manner,” Shah maintained, adding that government is fully aware of the plight of overseas Pakistanis, who wish to return to their home country as soon as possible.

Last week, FM Qureshi had said that around 2,000 Pakistanis are being repatriated per week, but with extensive testing facilities and resumption of airport operations, upto 60,000 stranded Pakistani expats can be brought back home.

“We are trying our level best to facilitate stranded Pakistanis since we are fully aware of their predicament,” the minister had said, adding that the increase in coronavirus testing facilities will help the situation further.

Pakistan has been gradually evacuating its nationals from different countries after flight operations were halted due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Islamabad last week began repatriating some of Pakistanis from the UAE, which had earlier warned countries refusing to take back nationals stranded by the coronavirus pandemic that it could review labour ties.

Earlier on Saturday, Pakistan International Airline (PIA) chief Arshad Malik had requested US Ambassador Paul Jones for help in repatriating citizens stuck in the United States.

“We want to bring back Pakistanis stranded in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Malik said in a letter to the American ambassador.

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