Pakistanis in Lebanon: Evacuation procedures in place if protests escalate, says Foreign Office

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Demonstrators take a selfie in front of burning tires during a protest targeting the government over an economic crisis, at Barja area blocking off a main road leading from southern Lebanon to Beirut, October 18, 2019. (REUTERS photo)
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Riot police fire tear gas to disperse demonstrators during a protest targeting the government over an economic crisis, near the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon October 18, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 October 2019

Pakistanis in Lebanon: Evacuation procedures in place if protests escalate, says Foreign Office

  • No immediate plan to evacuate Pakistani expats from Lebanon
  • Over 700 working class Pakistani expats reside in Lebanon

Islamabad: Standard operating procedures are in place to evacuate Pakistanis from Lebanon in case the unrest in Lebanon escalates, a spokesperson at Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Arab News on Saturday as anti-government demonstrators in Lebanon directed fiery, violent protests at a political elite they blame for a failing economy.

Angry protesters took to the streets across Lebanon on Thursday, agitated by rising inflation and cumbersome tax reforms. Major roads in Beirut including those leading to and from the airport remain blocked by mobs which routinely set tires ablaze on key routes and highways.

“SOP’s are in place for the evacuation of Pakistanis if matters escalate,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media. He added the foreign office was monitoring the situation.

“There are between 700-800 Pakistani expats in Lebanon, however they are not being evacuated,” he said. 

“It’s a developing situation, and the ministry will apprise accordingly.”

On Friday, Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri gave his government partners a 72-hour deadline to agree on reforms that could ward off an economic crisis and hinted that he may otherwise resign.


Saudi labor ministry plans new foreign manpower program

Updated 13 November 2019

Saudi labor ministry plans new foreign manpower program

  • The Kingdom intends to gradually cancel labor visas issued under the previous system
  • Says it will prioritize certain occupational categories

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia will introduce a new foreign manpower program starting next month by issuing visas for specific occupations, said Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Al-Omair noted that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes. He also noted that the previous labor category system would be gradually be removed from the ministry’s system.

The new scheme will be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it will become compulsory.

According to Al-Omair, the new program will be first applied to the manpower recruited from India due to it is a large size in the Saudi market.

However, it will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, since workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of the professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.