Sources that prefer to remain anonymous affirm that United Arab Emirates’ leadership is planning to organize a special ship for the repatriation of thousands of Pakistani workers stuck in the country. According to the same sources, the ship should depart from the Port of Fujairah to Karachi in Pakistan. The UAE authorities have not released any official comment on this subject so far. Around 8,000 Pakistani workers have applied to return home since April 3. The Pakistani Consul General, Ahmed Amjad Ali announced last Friday that was collecting data of people who wanted to travel back to Pakistan if any special flights were arranged from UAE, inviting all concerned to fill a proforma online.
Pakistan is a major labor supplier in the UAE, with over a million Pakistani living in the country. On March 25, 101 Pakistanis have already been repatriated on a special flight departing from Dubai International Airport. Those who had registered included some whose visas are expired, who lost their jobs or stopped being paid by their employer because of the pandemic, as well as those who entered the country on visitor visas. As the details about the date of the special repatriation flights still not provided and neither airline announced flights to Pakistan, it’s possible that the Emirates will choose to help Pakistanis return home amid Coronavirus outbreak as they are committed to extending support to countries affected by the COVID-19 crisis in recognition that multilateral cooperation is essential to the international community overcoming this humanitarian crisis. From the beginning of the epidemic, the UAE leadership emerged as a model in the humanitarian approach to stand with brotherly and friendly countries and extend a helping need to them in difficult circumstances.
Pakistan hesitates to lift a plane and evacuate its citizens from UAE, despite family appeals to the Imran Khan government to repatriate them. Seems that Pakistan refuses to repatriate its citizens back due to fears that the country does not have the medical facilities or capabilities to safely quarantine the returnees or handle a Coronavirus outbreak on Pakistani soil. Pakistan has a poor record of handling disease outbreaks and is one of only two countries in the world that has failed to eliminate polio. Hundreds of Pakistanis gathered outside the consulate on Sunday, asking to be sent home, local media reported on Monday. The consulate spokesman denied the figure and said police had dispersed the group because they were violating the Emirates lock-down measures to stem the pandemic.
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