ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the third phase of repatriation of Pakistanis from abroad is successfully underway.

Talking to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari and SAPM on National Security Moeed Yousuf who called on him in Islamabad on Tuesday, he said we are trying to bring back seven thousand Pakistanis on weekly basis while twelve thousand people have been repatriated till date.

The Foreign Minister said the number of stranded Pakistanis is increasing day by day and about 63,000 Pakistanis have been registered with us so far. He said with the cooperation of the provinces, our capacity has been further enhanced which will help in repatriating more and more Pakistanis from abroad.

The Minister said to effectively curb the spread of corona pandemic, implementation of SOPs on testing and quarantine facilities at airports across the country is being ensured. Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the government is also making every effort to address the economic implications caused by the pandemic.

SAPMs Zulfi Bukhari and Moeed Yousuf acknowledged and appreciated the efforts of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for the repatriation of overseas Pakistanis.

Meanwhile, Director General Emergency Crises Management Unit of Foreign Office Salman Athar informed Foreign Minister Qureshi at a briefing here that so far 11,529 Pakistanis were brought back to home from abroad. “A total of 62, 709 registered Pakistanis are waiting for their return from the foreign countries,” he said, The foreign minister visited different sections of the unit and put different queries to the officials and employees to ascertain performance of the unit, a press release said. He also reviewed the steps taken for resolving the issues and complaints of expatriate Pakistanis which were received by the unit.

DG Salman Athar gave a detailed briefing to the foreign minister about the Pakistanis waiting to return to their homeland in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

On the occasion, the foreign minister said that the government was fully cognizant of the issues and problems faced by expatriates and the government was utilising all resources for their immediate return through a phased process. He also appreciated the performance of the unit led by director general and congratulated them.