Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria while speaking to ARY News said that the federal government was willing to bring back all the Pakistanis trapped behind the bars for months in the friendly Muslim country before Eid but there was a shortage of plane which is exacerbated by the ongoing Hajj operation.
Zakaria admitted that the number of Pakistanis stuck in the Saudi Kingdom was in thousands, and revealed that their loans were already written off through diplomatic channels.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) ARY Digital Network Mr Salman Iqbal had announced to bear all expenses for repatriation of Pakistanis stranded in Saudi Arabia earlier this month following the news of around 2,000 Pakistanis trapped in Riyadh prison emerged.
Pakistani nationals in KSA were of the view that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government was not taking enough measures for their early release and appealed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to help them reach Pakistan.
The prime minister later had directed the Foreign Office to offer all-out help to the stranded Pakistani workers in the Saudi city of Riyadh.
PIA comes to rescue
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has shown its willingness on Saturday to help the government in bringing back thousands of helpless Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia after Islamabad cited non-availability of planes as a justification for the delay.
Chairman of the national carrier, Azam Sehgal lauded ARY’s efforts in raising voice for highly dependent and despondent Pakistanis in KSA and said that Mr. Salman Iqbal’s hard work was highly commendable in this matter.
Sehgal said a special plane would be dispatched to Saudi Arabia soon once they get a go-ahead from the foreign ministry. Previously the PIA has helped and played a responsible role when Pakistanis caught in Yemen needed help from their country.