PIA airlifts 530 Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia
June 8, 2020 05:55 PM
Three PIA flights carrying 530 passengers left Saudi Arabia as the national flag carrier continues operating a special operation to airlift the stranded Pakistanis, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Monday.
One of these flights was from Riyadh – the Saudi capital – to Lahore, enabling 250 Pakistanis to return home as they have been stuck there since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown.
Meanwhile, the remaining two flights left Riyadh and Dammam – located along the Persian Gulf in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, which is the second busiest port in the country – and are carrying 280 Pakistanis to Multan.
Meanwhile, the PIA is also transporting six bodies through these flights, as Pakistan’s Ambassador Raja Ali Ejaz and other members of the diplomatic mission were among those seeing off the Pakistanis at the Riyadh airport.
Talking to media, Raja said the embassy had been taking every possible step to repatriate the Pakistanis from the Kingdom and was making efforts to ensure that the maximum number of them could return to their homes.
However, the ambassador said the matter was getting out of hand because of a large of Pakistanis assembling outside the diplomatic area in Riyadh, which could result in the Saudi government taking necessary measures to deal with the situation.
For this reason, he added, that it was mandatory for the Pakistanis visiting the embassy to follow the guidelines defined to control the coronavirus spread.
Earlier on Saturday, Saudi Arabia reimposed curfew in the Red Sea city of Jeddah from 3pm to 6am for two weeks starting due to the spread of the coronavirus, and suspended work in offices.
The Kingdom has so far reported 101,914 coronavirus cases and 712 deaths in the country, making it 16th most affected country in the world. Pakistan is 15th with 103,671 cases and 2,067 deaths.