QUETTA: The Balochistan Home Department officials on Thursday relayed that over 2,000 Pakistanis were still stranded in Iran and waiting at Mir Jawah for permission to cross into Pakistan through the Taftan border which had been completely closed earlier this week on Monday after the decision of the federal government.
It is pertinent to mention that the Balochistan government has sent more pilgrims that retuned from Iran to their respective provinces after they completed their 14 days stay in quarantine at Taftan, said officials of the Home department.
These people, including pilgrims, students and others were retuned with their passports and other travelling documents by the immigration officials. “The convoys of these people left for their destinations in 50 buses from Taftan in strict security late evening,” a senior official of the Home department said, adding that these convoys comprise of 1,652 people.
On the other hand, official sources said the people, who were leaving for their respective provinces belong to Punjab, Khyber Pukhtunkhawa, Gilgit Biltistan and Azad Kashmir.
Pilgrims belonging to Sindh had already been sent to their province in a convoy of over 700 people on Tuesday in 18 buses. Out of these pilgrims, 1230 belong to Punjab, 232 Khyber Pukhtunkhwa whereas 190 belong to Gilgit Biltistan and Azad Kashmir. The officials of the Federal Investigation Agency immigration section at Taftan had retuned passports to the people who were going back to their provinces.
According to sources, these convoys will reach directly to their provinces and the people traveling in the buses will be not allowed to stop over at any town and cities during their travelling. “413 people belonging to Balochistan were still in quarantine at Taftan and decision to shift them to their hometowns would be taken in a couple of days.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2020.