Pakistan will bring home 176 Pakistanis stranded in India due to the novel coronavirus lockdown today (Wednesday) through the Attari-Wagah border.
India, where the number of COVID-19 infections have soared recently, is now one of the 10 most affected countries in the world.
Like many other countries, it has imposed a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus – which has created havoc around the world by killing 347,836 people and infecting another 5,543,439.
“These 176 Pakistanis were stranded in different Indian states including Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and (New) Delhi due to the extended lockdown and closure of Attari-Wagah border following the outbreak of coronavirus,” Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement on Tuesday.
“In line with the Prime Minister (Imran Kahn’s) directions, for safe and smooth repatriation of stranded Pakistanis, the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi remained in close contact with the Indian side and the Foreign Office has been coordinating with other national authorities in Pakistan,” it added.
The FO further said the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has also facilitated and coordinated logistics for transfer of these Pakistanis to Attari from more than 20 different Indian cities, amid the lockdown.
Earlier, more than 400 Pakistanis stranded in India were repatriated through Attari-Wagah border (near Amritsar and Lahore cities of India and Pakistan respectively) since March 20, 2020.
The ongoing efforts of the Foreign Ministry will continue till the repatriation of all remaining stranded Pakistanis, the Foreign Office statement read.
Earlier, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that more than 110,000 Pakistani stranded in various parts of the world wanted to come back, and the government will provide all possible help to them.
Pakistan too is affected by the coronavirus and is observing a partial lockdown. Until now, the country has registered 57,669 cases of coronavirus, with 1,197 deaths and more than 18,300 recoveries. (See latest figures here)