Remaining 18 Pakistanis reach Islamabad from Istanbul
According to details, the remaining eighteen Pakistani traders were brought back to Pakistan via the Turkish Airlines Flight 701. Detailing the poor treatment they had received in Moscow, the traders said they had gone for trade rather than committing crimes.
These traders had been deported from Moscow to Istanbul, where they had to be kept one additional day for possessing incomplete travel documents.
“The Pakistan Consulate official deputed by the Ambassador was at the Istanbul airport since 9 am in the morning and remained with passengers to facilitate and ensure their departure till 11:10 pm,” FO spokesman Nafees Zakaria had said earlier.
Below is the list of 28 passengers including those 18 repatriated ones:
Earlier, 30 Pakistani traders arrived in Islamabad from Istanbul, while a passenger plane also brought 84 traders from Dubai on Friday.
It was earlier reported that 132 Pakistani traders stuck in Moscow had left for home via Dubai and Istanbul yesterday.
ARY News, through its continuous coverage of the event, played a key role in getting these Pakistanis repatriated.
Earlier, dozens of traders who had left for Russia from Karachi were stranded at the Moscow airport since more than twenty hours.
Pakistani Embassy in Russia gets consular access
Russian authorities assured Pakistan that the detained traders being held at Moscow airport are being taken care of. Reportedly, the Pakistani traders had been held for twenty-one hours at the airport and were encountering difficulties since they were given neither anything to eat or drink. Some were beginning to feel ill and a trader had also fainted. The Foreign Office disclosed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had especially asked the Pakistani embassy in Russia to establish contact with the traders who were being held at the Moscow airport.
48 Pakistani traders deported from Moscow
The 48 deported Pakistanis had been sent to Istanbul, Turkey from Moscow from where only 17 have been brought to Pakistan. The rest are now being held in Istanbul.
According to details, the businessmen had traveled from Karachi to Russia on a business trip when they were stopped at the Moscow airport. More than one hundred and fifty traders were stopped at the airport which caused them hardship. A spokesperson of the Foreign Office said that forty-eight Pakistanis had also been deported from Moscow airport. Traders who were detained still at the airport were suffering from hunger and thirst while their relatives back home were also sick with worry.
No excuse given by Russian authorities for detaining us: Trader
After ARY News highlighted the plight of the traders stuck at Moscow airport, the Foreign Office contacted the Pakistani Ambassador in Russia to take stock of the situation. However, trader Abdul Wahid said that the Pakistani Ambassador in Russia had neither contacted them nor reached the airport to help them.
— SindhLeaks (@Sindhleak) March 24, 2016
However, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said that the concerned Russian official belonging to the Pakistani embassy was contacted by the traders last night via a phone call at 8 pm. Immediately, he had been dispatched to Moscow airport but the official had not been granted access to the traders. The Pakistani embassy in Russia was also in contact with Russian Foreign Office, said the spokesperson of Pakistan’s Foreign Office.
One of the stranded strangers Abdul Wahid spoke to ARY News and said that they had not been informed as to why these traders had been stopped at the airport. He also complained that the Pakistani embassy in Russia or any concerned department had not established contact with the traders.
These traders were taken on a business trip to Russia by a foreign company. Sources reveal that most of the traders are mobile phone dealers while some also deal in electronic items. Among them, eighty traders belong to Karachi, thirty-five belong to Lahore while the others belong to Islamabad.