MUSCAT – The 550 Pakistanis, who were marooned at Doha airport after the Saudi-Qatar diplomatic row, have been transported to Muscat via Oman Airlines, it emerged on Tuesday.
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According to media reports, these Pakistani nationals were left stranded at Doha airport after Saudi Arabia banned all flights from Qatar Airways into its airspace following the severing of ties with Qatar.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt, Yemen and Libya cut all ties with Qatar over allegations that Doha bolstered terrorism and extremism. The move followed severing of all land, air and sea links with Qatar and vice versa.
Subsequently, Pakistani pilgrims proceeding to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah were left in limbo as Qatar Airways denied entry to Saudi Arabia. According to sources, the airline, known for its extraordinary customer services failed to provide accommodation to the Pakistani passengers, forcing them to spend two days at the airport’s departure lounge.
Sensing the severity of de, the Government of Pakistan made special efforts to acquire services of Oman Airlines, to transport them to Jeddah. The first special flight took 400 Pakistani pilgrims to Muscat, while another brought the remaining 150 devotees.
Sensing the severity of diplomatic friction, the Government of Pakistan went out of the way to acquire services of Oman Airlines, to transport Pakistanis to Jeddah. The first special flight took 400 Pakistani pilgrims to Muscat, while another brought the remaining 150 devotees who will now be taken to Jeddah.
In an unexpected development, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and Libya severed their diplomatic links with Qatar on Monday. The latest country to join the bandwagon was Maldives that also announced maintaining no relations with Gulf state ‘because of its firm opposition to activities that encourage terrorism and extremism’.
Reacting to the visible isolation, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry expressed deep regret over the decision of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates’ and Egypt to break diplomatic ties with it.
Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman on Tuesday said that Kuwait was making effort to defuse the diplomatic crisis.
After the untoward decision by Muslim countries, international powers were keeping an eye on Pakistan whether it goes with Saudi Arabia or takes a different turn.
However, a Foreign Office statement confirmed that Pakistan had no immediate plan to severe ties with Qatar.
“Pakistan has no such plans,” FO spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in a statement.
“At the moment there is nothing on Qatar issue, (we) will issue a statement if some development takes place,” Zakaria added.