Two special flights of Pakistanis return from Libya

14:37, March 01, 2011      

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Two special flights, carrying 354 Pakistanis from strife-torn Libya, arrived in east Pakistan's city of Lahore on Tuesday, officials said.

A chartered Turkish Airlines plane, with 174, arrived early morning in Lahore and the second plane, carrying 180 Pakistanis, arrived at 9:30 a.m. local time, officials said

There are thousands of Pakistani expatriates and students still stranded in Libya.

Several of those arrived complained about what they called non- cooperative attitude of Pakistan embassy in Libya. They said that they were stranded for three days at the airport and had also not received anything to eat.

A Punjab provincial cabinet minister, Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor, and other senior officials received the evacuated Pakistanis at the Lahore's Allama Iqbal international airport.

A large number of family members and relatives were also there to receive their loved ones.

The repatriated Pakistani told the media about the worst stories of their lives they faced during the crisis in Libya. They also appealed to the government to take steps for the immediate withdrawal of other stranded nationals in Libya.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the Ministry is in close contact with Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force for evacuation of other nationals through sea and air.

A group of Pakistanis has already reached Tunisia and is being looked after for evacuation to Pakistan by the embassy in Tunis, the spokesperson said.

Another group of Pakistanis is moving towards the Egyptian border and the Pakistani Embassy in Cairo will receive them and make arrangements for their evacuation, spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said.

Around 22 countries have either already evacuated their nationals or are in the process through all possible routes and means, according to reports. Pakistan has around 18,000 of its nationals in Libya.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani taking note of the problems of the stranded Pakistanis in Libya directed the Foreign Office on Sunday to take immediate measures for safety of Pakistani expatriates.

Source: Xinhua

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