Saudi Arabia extends deadline for Pakistani pilgrims, visitors by two weeks

By: News Desk      Published: 01:04 AM, 16 Mar, 2020
Saudi Arabia extends deadline for Pakistani pilgrims, visitors by two weeks

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz said on Sunday that Islamabad has got permission from the kingdom to let the flights come in for the next two weeks to take the pilgrims back home.

Addressing a press conference at the Pakistani Embassy, Ejaz said that now holders of the Saudi residence permit could spend their leave in Pakistan. He said that Saudi Arabia has suspended the operation of flights to various countries after the expiry of the 72-hour deadline given to pilgrims and visitors to leave the country. However, he said, Pakistan made a special request to Abdul Hadi Al Mansouri, head of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), and got the permission to transport the visiting and pilgrim Pakistanis back home over the next two weeks.

According to the latest development, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will operate empty flights to Saudi Arabia and these flights will bring back Pakistanis from Jeddah and Madina. Holders of Saudi residence permit could also return to Pakistan by these flights, he said.

Other than this, the ambassador said, Pakistan has informed the Saudi authorities that there are 2.7 million Pakistanis working in the kingdom and measures should be taken so that they could resume their jobs on their return to Saudi Arabia. He said he was hopeful that Saudi authorities would accept Pakistan’s proposals in this regard.