Coronavirus: 20,000 Pakistanis in UAE await flights home

Pakistani officials in Dubai said they were waiting for permission to begin chartered flights

Nearly 60,000 Pakistanis have been repatriated from the UAE since March 25. AP Photo
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More than 20,000 Pakistanis remain in the UAE awaiting repatriation flights home.

Officials said a lack of quarantine facilities in the South Asian nation were causing the delay.

Last week, hundreds of protestors gathered outside the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai to demand answers.

Authorities said they were working hard to address the issue, and hoped to confirm the start of flights soon.

“[We have] received and processed the registration of Pakistani nationals for repatriation from the UAE,” the Consulate General said in a statement on Saturday.

“We are waiting permission from our government, which is expected soon.

“After that, our special flight operations will start. You will be notified.”

On April 11, 127 Pakistanis in Azerbaijan were flown home on a special flight with Pakistan International Airlines.

Last Friday, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the country’s foreign minister, said the government had organised nine other chartered flights.

“We are gradually increasing our testing and quarantine facilities,” he said.

“As soon as that happens, it’ll become easier for us to bring you [Pakistan nationals] back.”