ISLAMABAD            -           Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari on Monday said the government had increased the number of flights for Saudi Arabia to airlift maximum number of stranded Pakistanis from the gulf country under the current phase.

“We have nearly doubled the flights and the capacity to bring back stranded Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia, especially Riyadh-planning it with bigger aircrafts to accommodate dead bodies,” he tweeted while sharing the complete repatriation schedule for those citizens who were to be repatriated from Saudi Arabia between June 1 and June 10 (current phase).

“Logistical management between the two countries during the pandemic is a great challenge. I am grateful to the overseas Pakistanis for their patience,” he added in his tweet while expressing gratitude to the stranded Pakistanis for their endurance amid the global pandemic (COVID-19).

The SAPM also shared number of flights, arranged in previous and current phases to bring back the nationals from Saudi Arabia.

According to the details, the government has airlifted 1,780 stuck nationals from Saudi Arabia through eight special flights, operated between May 23 and May 31. 

In the current phase, some 3,750 Pakistanis would be repatriated from Saudi Arabia via 15 special flights.

Talking to APP, an official of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development said over 20, 000 Pakistanis would be brought to Pakistan from across the world under the ongoing repatriation phase.

He said a special cell had been set up at the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation to resolve the issues of overseas Pakistanis round the clock. Pakistani Embassies and Consulate Generals had also been making all out efforts to reach out the expatriates in this hour of turmoil.