DOHA – After six Arab countries and Maldives severed diplomatic ties and close air and sea routes for Qatar, a number of Pakistani passengers who were going to Saudi Arabia through Qatar Airways left stranded at Doha airport.
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Yesterday, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, UAE and other Arab countries had announced their decision to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar for allegedly supporting terror networks and extremism causing destablity in the region.
But, the hostile situation landed a number of Pakistani passengers including pilgrims into trouble when they came to know that Saudi Arabia has closed air routes for Qatar Airways, and they could not leave.
A passenger named Muhammad Shaukat, while talking to BBC Urdu, said that they had worn Ihram when their flight reached at Doha airport, but they have been waiting to fly to Saudi Arabia for many hours.
Due to the cancellation of the flights, passengers including pilgrims are forced to sleep on floor at Hamad International Airport in Doha.
They were being contacted by officials of PIA and Qatar Airways but no measures have been taken so far for them, passengers said.
It is pertinent to mention here that large numbers of Pakistanis use international airlines including Qatar Airway, Emirates and others to go to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah in holy month, Ramazan.
On the other hand, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) CEO Nayyar Hayat has directed the officials to arrange special flights for stranded pilgrims who reached Qatar through Qatar Airways.
The CEO has asked the manager in Qatar to coordinate with the pilgrims, besides contacting the Pakistani embassy in Doha.