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Monday Apr 06 2020

Nearly 150 Pakistanis stranded in Thailand urge govt for immediate rescue

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MANCHESTER: More than 144 Pakistani nationals including celebrities and film crew await rescue in Thailand.

In an exclusive interaction with The News, Pakistani actor Shamoon Abbasi said: "I am not just representing my film crew here. There are other Pakistani nationals in Thailand who are awaiting rescue and have contacted me. I can confirm there are more than 144 Pakistani nationals who are stuck here due to this pandemic."

"I am in constant contact with authorities both in Pakistan and in Thailand. But this change of situation every hour is so worrying for us and others. We were told that a flight should be arriving in Thailand for us and others on April 4, but now the earliest they can send one out to us will be on April 11. The hotel we are staying in is only open for us and can soon close as there's a curfew here. We are five hours away from Bangkok and now we are running out of money and urge the government and other relevant authorities to get us out from here as soon as possible."

The "Durj" actor said: "Social media and mainstream media has played a major role in getting our voices heard. Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Prime Minister Imran Khan are aware of our situation and I am hopeful that the issue will be resolved soon".

Read more: Shamoon Abbasi, Mohib Mirza among others stranded in Thailand

A Thai Air flight had made a special journey to Islamabad from Bangkok carrying 51 Pakistani nationals and others on March 28. These passengers were stuck inside transit at Bangkok Airport for six days but later more passengers were allowed to travel.

Referring to this, Abbasi said: "We were told that the flight will take only those who were stuck inside the airport, but later the flight was made open for everyone. We were not aware of the arrangement until the last minute. As we are five hours away, it was physically impossible for us to travel at such short notice."

The stranded passengers include families, elderly and vulnerable who are touring the country for leisure and business.