ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Djibouti landed in Islamabad on Friday, safely bringing back 176 Pakistani nationals stranded in war-torn Yemen.
45 of those citizens also reached Karachi airport shortly afterwards, on a special flight.
The Pakistani citizens had been evacuated from Aden in a Chinese vessel the previous day and were taken to the neighbouring African state of Djibouti, from where the PIA airplane airlifted them back to Islamabad.
“We hope that all Pakistanis will be evacuated from Yemen,” said Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, who was present at the Islamabad airport to welcome the passengers.
“Saudi Arabia has assured us that just tell them the time slot during which (the remaining Pakistani citizens) will travel to Hodeidah and PIA can pick them up.”
Shujaat Azeem, the prime minister’s special assistant on aviation, said that another PIA plane was on standby and would depart to Yemen as soon as clearance is given from Saudi and Yemeni authorities.
This is the second batch of citizens to be evacuated from Yemen by Pakistani authorities.
On Sunday, a PIA flight evacuated more than 500 of Pakistani citizens from Yemen’s Hodeidah airport. Also read: All Pakistanis from Yemen will be brought back: FO
Meanwhile, a Pakistan Navy vessel is docked at the Yemeni port city of Al-Mukalla to bring the remaining Pakistani citizens back to the country.
Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam had earlier said that around 175 Pakistanis are assembled in large groups waiting for clearance to proceed to the port in Al-Mukalla, adding that from the port they will be brought to the ship through boats.
She further said that once they embark the vessel, the ship will bring them back directly to Karachi.