Islamabad: While many stranded Pakistanis have been brought home by the special flights from across the globe, 90,394 Pakistanis have been unable to return home with several countries closing down the borders to contain coronavirus spread. Barring 802, all of them are currently stranded in various countries in the Middle East, said a report.
The UAE tops the list with 71,570 to be exact and little less than 12,000 of them are stuck in Saudi Arabia. The rest are dispersed over Qatar, Oman, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait and Malaysia. A majority of stranded are workers, who have been laid off amid business shutdowns. Laid off workers account for at least 22 per cent or over 20,000 of the Pakistanis currently stuck away from home.
The report said Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari is in talks with the community welfare attachés to provide immediate support to both expatriates who have lost their jobs and other Pakistanis stuck abroad. The plans are afoot by the government to airlift around 36,000 of the stranded Pakistanis. Around 9,000 of them will be ferried back over the next two weeks on 45 flights operated by both Pakistan International Airlines and other carriers.
So far, the government has brought back more than 18,000 Pakistanis from various foreign nations.
According to officials, the special flights operated out of various countries in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Oceania. The countries include the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Malaysia.