ISLAMABAD: More than 100,000 Pakistanis seek to return to the country but their repatriation can only be expedited after the provision of quarantine facilities by the provincial governments, Foreign Office spokesperson Ayesha Farooqui said on Friday.
Talking to reporters, the spokesperson said that an overwhelming majority of those were the expatriates seeking to return from the United Arab Emirates. She added that lack of quarantine facilities impeded the return of the stranded Pakistanis.
“There is a lack of quarantine facilities to bring back Pakistanis,” she told reporters. “Consultations are under way with the provinces for quarantine facilities,” she said, adding that the process of repatriation of Pakistanis would be expedited with the provision of quarantine facilities by the provinces.
She said “more than 60,000 Pakistanis want to return from UAE, and another 15,000 from Saudi Arabia”. She reminded that the passengers were required to spend three days in quarantine on return to Pakistan and they go home when their corona test comes back negative. She also said flights to Iran and Chinese cities would start soon.
The Foreign Office spokesperson said that the provocation by India on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir had increased, while extrajudicial killings were taking place in occupied Kashmir. “Tensions rise in occupied Kashmir. The situation in occupied Kashmir is a matter of concern for Pakistan,” she said.
Responding to media queries, the spokesperson said Pakistan rejected Indian move for “inclusion” of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan in weather bulletin of Indian TV.
Like the so-called “political maps” issued last year by India, this move was also legally void, contrary to reality, and in violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions, Farooqui said.
“This is another mischievous Indian action in support of a spurious claim and further evidence of India’s irresponsible behaviour. No illegal and unilateral steps by India can change the “disputed” status of Jammu and Kashmir, recognised as such by the international community including the United Nations.”
The spokesperson noted that such moves by the government of India could not prejudice the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K). “Pakistan would urge India not to make baseless assertions and abstain from misleading the world community through unfounded claims on regions that constitute internationally recognised disputed territories.”