KARACHI (Web Desk) – A special plane landed at the Karachi airport Sunday evening, with around 500 Pakistani nationals on board, from Al-Hudaydah in conflict-hit Yemen.
After being given clearance by the Saudi authorities, Pakistan International Airlines’ Boeing-747 was sent to Al-Hudaydah airport to bring back as many as 504 stranded Pakistanis.
According to a spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority, another PIA airplane, Airbus-310, will also be used to evacuate other marooned Pakistanis.
Earlier on Sunday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said evacuation of Pakistanis stranded in Yemen’s troubled seaport city Aden using airplanes is quite unsafe, so arrangements are being made to safely evacuate them via sea, .
The FO said it was facing problems evacuating stranded citizens, with the main airports dysfunctional.
Reports said more than 500 Pakistanis are waiting to be rescued from Aden, while another 100 are travelling from the seaport city of Al Mukalla to Aden. They will be all evacuated via sea.
The flight operations will continue until all Pakistanis are evacuated from Yemen.
The Pakistan government has also been in contact with the Chinese and Saudi authorities to bring back the marooned Pakistanis back home.
Earlier on Sunday, Irfan Shami, Pakistan’s ambassador to Yemen, told the state-run television, PTV, that after escaping from the troubled Yemeni capital Sanaa, the convoy of 600 Pakistanis has reached Al-Hudaydah from where they will leave for Pakistan.
The convoy underwent security checks by the Yemeni armed forces and the Houthi rebels before it was permitted to exit Sanaa.
Shami said as many as 482 Pakistanis would be evacuated through the first flight, adding that boarding has started at Hudaydah.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was personally monitoring the evacuation and had directed the officials to ensure safe return of every citizen, said his spokesperson.
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launchedmilitary operations including air strikes in Yemen to counter Iran-backed forces besieging the southern city of Aden, where the US-supported Yemeni president had taken refuge.
Gulf broadcaster al-Arabiya TV reported the Kingdom was contributing as many as 150,000 troops and 100 warplanes to the operations and that allies Egypt, Jordan, Sudan and Pakistan were ready to take part in a ground offensive in Yemen.