ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Foreign Office on Thursday evening said it continues to monitor the situation in Sana’a and officials are in contact with the stranded Pakistanis there who now number 145.
She went on to say that flights have not operated from the Sana’a airport in recent days because of the “no fly zone” restriction imposed by Saudi Arabia, adding that, “We are in contact with the Saudi government for an exemption of the no fly restriction.”
Aslam further said the fact that Sana’a airport had been bombed earlier and is partially damaged makes the prospect of a flight more challenging. She added that however, the possibility of a flight by a small aircraft exists and is being pursued for which required clearances are also being obtained from Yemen authorities.
The FO spokeswoman also said that working under the guidance of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, appreciates the excellent support it has been receiving from all concerned departments including Civil Aviation, PIA, Ministry of Defence (Pakistan Navy in particular) and Embassies in the region, and will continue to function round the clock, until all the stranded Pakistanis from Yemen are evacuated.
She went on to say that a committee of stranded Pakistanis which had been set up earlier are has been also coordinating with the Crisis Management Cell (CMC) to ensure local arrangement where required, adding, “We are also in touch with the government authorities in Yemen for required permissions and clearances.”
Regarding the status of Pakistanis from Aden, the FO spokesperson said to ensure earliest possible evacuation, Chinese support was enlisted, since their ships were already in the region evacuating their nationals from Aden to Djibouti, adding that the designated Chinese ship has been in Aden since early morning yesterday.
Spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam however, said that the delayed clearance from Yemeni authorities and complicated local procedures necessitated postponing of embarkation of passengers to the ship, to this morning and all procedures have been completed now.
She went on to say that 186 Pakistanis embarked the ship which has left the port and the expected time of arrival at Djibouti is 1900 hours local time (2100 hours PST).
Aslam further said a PIA aircraft has been on stand-by since yesterday morning and it will be flying to Djibouti after the Chinese ship arrives in Djibouti, since the disembarkation, immigration and transfer to airport of passengers will take another 7 hours, while the flight time from Karachi to Djibouti is around four hours. “This will allow us a smooth transfer of passengers to the aircraft and back to Pakistan. “
She also said that Pakistan’s Ambassador in Ethiopia, along with staff, has been in Djibouti since yesterday, adding that a camp office has been set up to make all local coordination.
She further said all local logistics arrangements and clearances required including flight clearance, immigration, transit, transport etc. have been already organised, while two officers of the CMC are also leaving for Djibouti in the PIA special flight to assist the operation in Djibouti.
Regarding Pakistanis in Al-Mukalla, Aslam said a Pakistan Navy ship has already arrived there, anchored in the open sea but because of skirmishes overnight, the roads leading to the port have been closed by the military authorities.
The FO spokesperson went on to say that around 175 Pakistanis are assembled in large groups waiting for the clearance to proceed to the port, adding that from the port they will be brought to the ship through boats.
She further said once they are embarked, the ship will bring them back directly to Karachi.
Oct 18, 2017 0
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The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
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