KARACHI: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight with the first batch of around 500 Pakistanis who are evacuated from war-torn Yemen reached the Jinnah International Airport Karachi on Sunday night.
They were warmly welcomed by their families, political leaders and social activists. PML-N lawmakers, including Humaiyun Khan, Asif Khan and Shah Muhammad Shah, on the directive of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, received the Pakistanis on their safe return back home.
The evacuated Pakistanis were all praise for Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for ensuring their prompt evacuation from Yemen’s port city of Hudaida.
They also thanked the Pakistan Ambassador and the PIA for the evacuation effort.
The airport reverberated with the slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ (Long Live Pakistan), ‘Nawaz Sharif Zindabad’ (Long Live Nawaz Sharif), as the passengers from PIA flight-7002 streamed out of the airport terminal and reunited with their families overwhelmed by emotions over safe return of their loved ones.
A Pakistani girl, Nausheen, whose appeal for evacuation from Yemen had been broadcast by the media, especially thanked Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for quick evacuation of stranded Pakistanis from the warn-torn country.
Earlier, Pakistan Ambassador to Yemen Irfan Yousuf who accompanied the stranded countrymen on the flight, talking to a private TV channel, said, “I have done my job”.
He said 496 Pakistanis are evacuated in the first batch.
They included 116 children. He added that he will continue to help in the evacuation operation from the federal capital.
A PIA crew member told the media that some 500 passengers have been brought back onboard the flight.
He said a PIA flight will take over 350 of these passengers belonging to other parts of the country to Islamabad.
The flight was set to take off shortly tonight to the federal capital.