Pakistan to evacuate over 200 nationals from Yemen
A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane will visit Yemen's capital Sanaa on Sunday, followed by a naval ship on Monday to evacuate the remaining 208 Pakistanis still stranded in the war-torn country
Islamabad: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane will visit Yemen's capital Sanaa on Sunday, followed by a naval ship on Monday to evacuate the remaining 208 Pakistanis still stranded in the war-torn country.
The naval ship will reach the Yemeni port city of Al Hodeida on Monday, which could possibly mark the end of the evacuations of Pakistanis in Yemen, Dawn online reported on Sunday.
According to an update issued by the Pakistani foreign office on Saturday, 174 Pakistanis are in Sanaa and 34 in Al Hodeida. A total of 849 Pakistanis have already been evacuated.
"A special PIA flight has been planned for Sanaa tomorrow (Sunday) to bring back the 174 stranded compatriots. An aircraft is on stand by, ground clearances have been obtained, while exemption of 'no fly' restriction is expected shortly," the foreign office said in a statement.
Earlier, with deterioration in the law and order situation in Yemen following an Al Qaeda-engineered jailbreak, a Pakistani naval ship PNS Aslat, that reached the Mukalla port on Friday but could not evacuate the Pakistani nationals, had to be diverted to the nearby Ash Shihr port.
The ship evacuated 148 Pakistanis on Saturday and will reach Karachi on April 7. It also helped to evacuate 35 people from other nations, including 11 Indians, eight Chinese and four British citizens.
A group of 12 Pakistanis has also been evacuated through the land border with Oman.
Before the Houthi takeover of Sanaa in September 2014, there were about 3,000 Pakistanis living in different parts of Yemen, the Pakistani foreign office said.
"By the embassy's reckoning, around 1,800 of our expatriates have gradually exited the country over the past few months," it added.
Over 500 Pakistanis were flown back to Pakistan on March 31.
Subsequently, 176 people were evacuated from the Yemeni port city of Aden on board a Chinese vessel to the neighbouring country of Djibouti and from there to Pakistan by a special PIA flight on April 2.
Yemen has been mired in deep political conflict since 2011.
The situation worsened when Shia Houthis rebels seized power in February this year and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi fled subsequently to Aden.