Largest group of Pakistani expats stranded in UAE, says Qureshi

Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, second left, along with other officials during a town hall meeting with overseas Pakistanis based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on June 7, 2020. (PID)
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Updated 08 June 2020

Largest group of Pakistani expats stranded in UAE, says Qureshi

  • Pakistan embassy is treating on priority cases with expired visas, foreign minister says
  • Urges expats to identify those responsible for charging inflated air fares to repatriates

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on Sunday said that a large number of Pakistanis were residing in the Gulf countries where a lot of them were being sent back under the situation arising from COVID-19.
“The biggest number of stranded Pakistanis is in the UAE and it is regrettable that they are being overcharged for air tickets. Irrespective of who is responsible for this, we are answerable on this issue,” Qureshi said while addressing a session of Pakistani community via video link held at the Town Hall in Dubai.
He urged the expat community to identify elements making undue profit at this time of crisis in the form of inflated air fares.
The session was attended by foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood, special secretary foreign Moazzam Ali Khan and other senior officials of the ministry, according to a press release issued by the foreign office.
Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE Ghulam Dastagir Khan and other officials of the embassy were also in attendance.
Qureshi said that UAE hosts 1.6 million Pakistanis and it was a difficult task to live up to all of their expectations.
He lauded the efforts of Pakistani mission in the Gulf state for providing free air tickets to as much as 196 Pakistanis. He also acknowledged Pakistan embassy for distributing food packets in Dubai, a step, he said, was highly appreciated.




Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, left, during a town hall meeting with overseas Pakistanis based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on June 7, 2020. (PID)

The minister further said that Pakistan embassy in UAE was facilitating on priority those whose visas had expired.
While noting that Pakistan’s exports had dwindled due to coronavirus, Qureshi said that “overseas Pakistanis are sending remittances back home after toiling hard in foreign countries and bolstering the country’s economy.”
“Overseas Pakistanis have always helped Pakistan in difficult times. It is our responsibility to heed their valid demands,” he added. 
Ambassador Dastagir briefed the foreign minister about the Pakistani community with regard to coronavirus pandemic and said that the community members in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were being taken good care of. 
He said that different steps had been taken to curb virus spread in the UAE, including imposition of lockdown, in addition to providing the best health care facilities.
Addressing the community, Qureshi said that over 209 countries in the world had been affected by the coronavirus, and stressed that “we need to change our mindset and attitude.” He urged overseas Pakistani to employ the latest technology and stay updated through social media. 
The minister paid tribute to the invaluable services rendered by Pakistani doctors and health care workers across the globe, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, especially those in the United States, United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.
Qureshi also assured the community members to take up the issue of reopening the community center with his UAE counterpart owing to the current, “unusual situation” arising from the global pandemic.


Pakistani army chief, Saudi ambassador discuss regional security 

Updated 10 August 2020

Pakistani army chief, Saudi ambassador discuss regional security 

  • Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy calls on General Qamar Javed Bajwa
  • The two leaders discuss matters of mutual interest, bilateral defense relations 

ISLAMABAD: Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, called on Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday and discussed the security situation in the region, the military’s media wing said. 
“Matters of mutual interest, regional security situation and bilateral defense relations between the two brotherly countries were discussed during the meeting,” the Pakistani army said in a statement.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are longtime allies. Saudi Arabia remains the main source of Pakistan’s remittances despite global business shutdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic. The country has also loaned Pakistan billions of dollars in recent months to help stave off a balance of payments crisis, and offered oil on deferred payments.