May 13, 2020| Pretoria Embassy Post|
The High Commission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in South Africa in collaboration with authorities from the Republic of South Africa and its neighboring countries was able to evacuate 108 stranded/destitute Pakistani citizens from the region by a Special Chartered Flight on 13th May, 2020.
The Special Flight was organized by a local Muslim Trust Fund called Baitun Nusra essentially catering for stranded Tablighi Jamat members who were visiting some African countries and other Pakistani nationals stuck in the region.
The evacuation process also included several neighboring countries namely Botswana (01), Eswatini (02), Malawi (20), Mozambique (36), and Zambia (28). In addition to this, the High Commission also repatriated stranded/destitute citizens from South African cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Most of these Pakistani nationals were visiting South Africa on short-term tourist, business and students visas.
The group of stranded Pakistanis from five neighboring countries was transported into South Africa with the help of South African authorities, who played pivotal role to materialize the whole evacuation process. This involved thousands of miles of inland travel and complex cross border movement with security and safety. All this process took place under the strict lockdown environment both in South Africa and its neighboring countries. The High Commission of Pakistan made arrangements for logistics and transportation of destitute Pakistani nationals to facilitate their repatriation to Pakistan.
The Special Flight will also bring back about 104 South African citizens who are stranded in Pakistan. This was second such special flight carrying stranded Pakistani citizens from South Africa. It may be noted that previously 81 Pakistani nationals were evacuated to Pakistan on 20 April, whereas 83 South African citizens were transported back to South Africa. As of now, the number of evacuations to Pakistan stands at 189 and from Pakistan to South Africa about 187 totaling 376 evacuees on both sides
The whole process of repatriation through a Special Flight was an outcome of efficient and cooperative working relationship between authorities in Pakistan, South Africa, neighboring countries and the Baitun Nusra, in the prevailing situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic.
13th May 2020
Last modified: May 14, 2020
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