Sunday, November 27, 2022

Stranded Pakistani expats protest due to limited flights, exorbitant rates

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistanis set to travel to Saudi Arabia are reported to have been facing challenges in availing their air tickets with limited flight operations and exorbitant rates, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

Due to a limited number of flights scheduled for the destination, the seats are scarce while the ticket fares are exorbitant, the reports confirmed.

Keeping in view the ongoing dilemma, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for Overseas Pakistanis, have made contact with Saudi Human Resource vice-minister Dr Abdullah bin Nasser via video-link in which he appealed to the ministry to extend visas of Pakistan expatriates up to October 30.

The SAPM also called for an increase in the number of flights to allay the grievances of the many people intending to go back to work. Bukhari noted that the ticket are sold at exorbitant rates due to the scarcity of flights.

He added that many party supporters that sought to go back to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are now stranded here and are complaining. He said that due to the small number of planes scheduled for the KSA, the workers who seek to go back to their employments are now stuck in Pakistan, to which he requested the ministry to allow the rise in flight operations.

SAPM Bukhari appealed to the KSA ministry to extend the Iqama of the workers stranded due to flight operations by at least a month. Responding to the appeals made by SAPM Bukhari, Vice Minister Dr Nasser said that he will take up the issues of Iqama extension and expanding flight operations with relevant ministers in the next session.

Read More: Saudi Arabia announces to resume visa services from Karachi consulate

Dr Nasser said that in the next session with ministries of interior, trade and human resources, he will take up the issue and apprise them of the grievances faced by Pakistanis.

He noted that owing to the Standard Operating Procedures, the flights were conditioned to keep at 25% of its seating capacity vacant to ensure distance, which caused the logjam. However, he asserted that soon the flights will be allowed to allow travellers up to its capacity.

Dr Nasser of KSA said that after the assessment of expatatirates’ records the ministry will decide whether to extend the Iqama term but he stressed that soon the proposed amendment in the labour laws will come as a piece of good news for workers.

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