Another 176 stranded Pakistanis return from India

Roughly 400 citizens have returned through the Wagah border since the lockdown

Asif Mehmood May 27, 2020
The border was opened exclusively for the Pakistani nationals return. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

LAHORE: Another 176 Pakistani nationals stranded in India returned through the Wagah border on Wednesday.

The border, which had been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, was opened exclusively for their return. These Pakistani citizens had been stranded in different Indian cities for the past two months, with most having travelled on pilgrim visas.

Syed Sarwar Hussain, a resident of Karachi who returned on Wednesday, thanked both the Pakistani and the Indian governments for his return.

He had arrived in India on February 19, 2020 and had been scheduled to return in March but couldn't due to travel restrictions in place because of the pandemic, he told The Express Tribune.

PHOTO: EXPRESS PHOTO: EXPRESS

Similarly, Mahesh Kumar, another Pakistani national to return along with Hussain, thanked the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi for its efforts and cooperation with the stranded Pakistanis.

He told that he had gone early in March on religious pilgrimage and was relieved to return to his hometown in interior Sindh.

This is the third set of Pakistani nationals who have been repatriated from India since the pandemic. The return of roughly 400 stranded citizens has been facilitated thus far.

Upon their arrival, immigration and customs clearance and screening was carried out in accordance with anti-coronavirus measures in place, claimed officials.

Officials maintained that the luggage of the travelers was also disinfected and that the suspected cases will be sent to isolation centres for quarantine.

Meanwhile, Indian nationals stranded in Pakistan also await their return to their home country. At least 208 Indian nationals are reportedly stranded in Pakistan as of now.

Several of the stranded Pakistani and Indian citizens include Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs who had travelled to the respective neighbouring country for religious pilgrimage and found themselves unable to return due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

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