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Dozens of stranded Pakistani pilgrims in Saudi Arabia seek govt help

RIYADH: At least 45 Pakistani pilgrims have been stranded in Saudi Arabia after recent closure of Pakistan airspace owing to hostility with India for a last few days, ARY News reported.

Sources told that travel agents who had booked the flights of Umrah pilgrims were not helping the Pakistan citizens, leaving them in a bind.

The administration of Jeddah Airport had offloaded 45 Pakistani pilgrims including children and women due to advisory from Pakistan over airspace and they haven’t been communicated about next flights or helped since then.

Read: Saudi Arabia issues more than 4.33 million Umrah visas

Sources said the pilgrims belong to Pakpattan and other cities of the country. The travel agents had the passports of the pilgrims and now, according to sources, they were not responding to the calls of stranded citizens at Jeddah Airport.

The pilgrims have appealed the government of Pakistan to help them.

On March 1, Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah said it was hosting around 3,000 Pakistani pilgrims who were stranded after the airspace shutdown. Saudi’s undersecretary for Umrah Affairs, Abdulaziz Wazzan told Arab News that the ministry has opened reception centers to accommodate and feed the stranded pilgrims.

Planes flying to Pakistan from Jeddah, Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International airport in Madinah were grounded until further notice, the report had said.

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