Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
The repatriation operations for Pakistan expatriates in Dubai and the Northern Emirates are picking up momentum as four more flights have been scheduled to take off this week to carry around 1,000 desperate community members.
This was stated by Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai and Northern Emirates, while talking to Gulf Today on Thursday.
“The repatriation flight operation has already continued with the collaboration of local authorities and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate for different international flights in Pakistan. So far we have sent 26 flights from Dubai to take over 5,200 stranded Pakistanis to various destinations in Pakistan and the schedule for four more flights has been finalised to carry more such community members,” he said.
He further assured that the repatriation operations will continue till the resuming of normal flight operation which is still not approved by the Pakistan government in the wake of spreading of COVID-19.
The consul general has also asked the community members to avoid being mugged by ‘fake travel agents’ as they are robbing innocent people to sell fake tickets which ends up in people losing their money. “We have been receiving complaints from our citizens about the ‘fake’ travel agents who promised them confirmed seats for upcoming special flight to Pakistan. No one is allowed to sell tickets for special flights as we have been arranging closely with the Dubai-based PIA staff to book tickets for the special flights once the schedule is confirmed and the procedure in progress for operation,” he said.
There are many people who, through social media, approach desperate people to offer ‘confirmed tickets’ for upcoming special flights, asking them to deposit money in their account. Then they disappear without a trace and their phones are switched off.
It is also mentioned that so far over 69,000 stranded Pakistanis – including 12,000 who lost jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic – have registered to be repatriated through special flights in the UAE and only 9,000 have been repatriated. Besides this, a large number of Paistanis are also stranded as they were either sent on ‘paid’ leave or ‘forced’ leave while many were on visit visas and now they are waiting for repatriation.
Ali assured that the repatriation flight operations are ongoing and they are trying to send those who lost jobs or have some kind of emergency.
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