DiplomaticQuarter: Pakistani officials in Saudi Arabia step in to speed up repatriation process
RIYADH: Officials from the Pakistan Embassy in Riyadh and the country’s consulate in Jeddah have stepped in to speed up the repatriation of hundreds of Pakistani citizens from Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan ambassador to the Kingdom, Raja Ali Ejaz, said: “Two PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) special flights, carrying 140 passengers each and one special flight carrying 250 passengers, departed from Riyadh for Multan and Peshawar respectively on Tuesday. The Peshawar-bound flight also carried mortal remains of 16 Pakistanis.”
The envoy along with embassy officials were present at Riyadh airport to see off Pakistani citizens returning home.
The government of Pakistan has started a series of special flights to repatriate Pakistanis stranded in various countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia. In the Kingdom, flight operations are being coordinated by the Pakistani missions.
A Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement issued in Riyadh by the embassy on Tuesday said: “In their efforts, the Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh and Consulate General of Pakistan in Jeddah have so far facilitated the repatriation of more than 4,000 Pakistanis, including 480 Umrah zaireen and 195 detainees.”
The missions are also providing ration bags to needy Pakistanis in the Kingdom and coordinating special flights with PIA to ease the return of stranded Pakistanis. The statement added that mission officials were in contact with the Pakistani diaspora and would continue to assist them while adhering to lockdown restrictions.
At the request of Pakistan, the number of special flights to Saudi Arabia has been increased to accelerate the repatriation process.
In cases where Pakistanis had died, the missions had helped with arrangements for 40 burials while 90 bodies had been repatriated to Pakistan.
In line with the directives of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for the early repatriation of stranded Pakistanis, the missions are working closely with the Saudi authorities, PIA, and relevant authorities in Pakistan to ensure their swift return.