UNITED NATIONS - Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday afternoon departed for Riyadh on way back to Pakistan by a commercial flight after his special plane had to turn back to New York with a technical fault Friday evening.

The prime minister, who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, was seen off at New York’s Kennedy International Airport by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi.

On Friday evening, technicians tried but could not fix the problem in the special plane, which was placed at his disposal by the Saudi government,  after it landed back in New York.

Officials said it was then decided to return to Roosevelt Hotel where the prime minister had been staying during his 7-day visit to New York, and to take a regular Saudi Airlines flight Saturday morning for his return journey, as he was anxious to visit the earthquake-hit areas and visit families of the victims.

During his “Mission Kashmir” visit to New York at the head of Pakistan delegation to the 74th session of UN General Assembly, the prime minister addressed the 193-member Assembly, attended special UN summit meetings, met a number of world leaders on the sidelines of the session, including US President Donald Trump, addressed think-tanks and interacted with international media.