Pakistan

KARACHI (Web Desk/APP) – Departure of second aircraft from Karachi to bring home stranded Pakistanis from Yemen was delayed on Monday.


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According to sources, Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has delayed its second flight for Mukalla town of Yemen for one day, and the plane with a capacity of 230 passengers would now be sent on Tuesday.

However, no official timeframe has so far been issued.

On Sunday, the government evacuated more than 500 Pakistani citizens from the war-torn country by jumbo jet and sent a naval frigate to rescue others.

PIA flight carrying 503 passengers from Hudaydah arrived in Karachi.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said there were still up to 250 Pakistanis in the port town of Mukalla, which was peaceful, with officials trying to ascertain how many want to be evacuated from nearby Riyan airport.

She said fighting was going on in the southern government stronghold of Aden where up to 200 Pakistanis were stranded as the airport was not accessible but the port was open.

“Our navy ship on its way to Aden. We are also coordinating with the Chinese,” Tasnim said.

The first batch of Pakistanis was evacuated as Saudi-led air strikes hammered Houthi rebel targets.

Ahmed Assiri, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, confirmed to reporters in Riyadh that coalition forces had “ensured a safe corridor” by suspending operations around Hudaydah airport for a few hours to allow Pakistan “to evacuate its citizens”.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry had said Saturday around 3,000 Pakistanis lived in Yemen with some 1,000 trying to leave the country.

Restating Islamabad’s staunch support for the Gulf kingdom, Chaudhry said a delegation would soon leave for Riyadh, but rejected reports that Pakistan would join the Saudi-led coalition bombing mission.