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Tuesday Apr 14 2020

Next phase of repatriation of stranded Pakistanis to begin from today


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the next phase of the repatriation of Pakistanis stranded abroad will begin from Tuesday, according to a Radio Pakistan report.

According to the report, FM Qureshi told a parliamentary committee overseeing the matter that 39,748 Pakistanis have requested to return home to Pakistan.

The report quoted the foreign minister as saying that so far, 1,640 Pakistanis have been repatriated through 12 special flights. He said greater effort will be made to bring back stranded Pakistanis in this next phase of flights.

In this phase, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will repatriate more than 1,800 Pakistanis stranded at different destinations around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to PIA, the flights will run from today till April 19.

A PIA spokesperson said that on April 17 and 18, relief flights will be operated for Manchester.

On April 17, PIA flights PK-8852 and PK-8894 will leave for Seoul, while on April 18, a special flight will leave for Jakarta from Karachi.

Related: PIA to expand relief operations for Pakistanis stranded abroad due to coronavirus pandemic

Another flight on April 17 will repatriate Pakistanis from Dubai, while on April 19, PIA will operate flight PK-784 from Toronto to Karachi.

PIA sources earlier informed that two flights will operate today to bring back 400 Umrah pilgrims from Saudi Arabia.

One of the flights will land in Multan, while the other will land at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore.

Another flight will fly to UAE and repatriate 410 recently-released Pakistani prisoners, with the flights landing in Faisalabad and Peshawar.

Relief flights will bring 270 stranded passengers from Thailand and Japan to Islamabad too.

Two further flights will bring back 360 Pakistani prisoners from Oman on April 15 and 16.

The national airline had earlier announced it would operate relief flights to bring back stranded Pakistanis. Those wishing to make a booking can contact PIA offices, its website and call centres, while tickets can be purchased from Pakistan as well, according to the information available.