Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the resumption of international flights after Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari raised the matter with him.
Officials said the matter was discussed in a federal cabinet meeting where Bukhari briefed the members on the difficulties and hardships faced by overseas Pakistanis.
The prime minister, while green lighting the resumption of international flights, asked the relevant authorities to devise a plan of action to repatriate Pakistanis stranded abroad.
At the initial stage, the flights will only operate from Gulf countries and after the safe repatriation of Pakistanis stranded there, those from other countries will be brought back as well, the officials said.
"Those rendered unemployed and labourers will be brought in the first phase," they added.
The premier, while stressing on the importance of overseas Pakistanis, said that they were close to his heart and that they could not be left alone at such pressing times.
Millions of overseas Pakistanis have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said, adding that "we understand the pain that they are going through."
The premier assured the cabinet that the Pakistani government would do everything possible to help the stranded Pakistanis.
Officials stated that Bukhari opined that nearly 200,000 Pakistanis have become unemployed. It is the need of the hour that we stand with them and help them in every way possible Bukhari said, adding that a NCOC meeting should be called to review the matter.
"We are suspending international flight operations effective tonight at 8:00 pm (1500 GMT)," the prime minister's special assistant on national security.
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