Government of Pakistan prepares to host international transit passengers expected to stay in Islamabad for the next 21 days. All private hotels in Islamabad as well as 148 hotels and 19 hostels of educational institutes in Rawalpindi are being prepared to host the large number of people expected to arrive in the next couple of days. Pakistan has also decided to issue transit visas to foreigners currently stuck in Afghanistan.
The office of District Magistrate Islamabad issued an official notification directed to all the private hotels to reserve their bookings for the next 21 days for the incoming international transit passengers. The notification also mentioned that all vacant rooms must be placed at the disposal of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration for accommodation of passengers till further notice.
— Iqra Nasir (@IamIqraNasir) August 26, 2021
Due to the current circumstances, strict security measures have been taken and police situated in and around the hotels is on high alert.
On Friday, around 1,500 foreigners are expected to arrive in Islamabad including diplomats, staff of foreign missions and journalists. Over 1,000 foreigners are expected to land in Islamabad on each day for the next couple of weeks.
Due to the unfortunate bombing at the Kabul Airport on Thursday night, the evacuation process of foreigners and nationals from Afghanistan is likely to speed up, which is why the government of Pakistan has taken the steps to ensure their safety and wellbeing once they land in Pakistan. Most of the transit passengers will move to their respective countries after a brief stay in the capital city.
So far the people staying in the hotels have not been asked to leave but such requests could be made if the need arises. There were rumors on hotels being shut down completely, however, in a tweet by the deputy commissioner of Islamabad, Hamza Shafqaat confirmed that news about the closing of hotels in Islamabad is fake and added that just the request to prioritize the international transit passengers has been made.
News about closing hotels in Islamabad is fake. No one is being evicted. However request is made for prioritising International transit passengers in new bookings
— Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat (@hamzashafqaat) August 26, 2021
Reacting on the news, many Pakistanis rightfully pointed out that Pakistan is cooperating in all regards with Afghanistan yet UK is not ready to take Pakistan out of the red list not is UN convinced to remove Pakistan from the grey list.
We are evacuating hotels all over Rawalpindi and Islamabad on their orders and will keep more than 4,000 Afghan refugees in Karachi for a month but the UK is not ready to remove us from the red list and the UN is not ready to remove us from the gray list. …#Kabulairport @UN
— Iqbal Haidar 🇵🇰 (@iqbalhaidarVlog) August 27, 2021
#UKredlist @ImranKhanPTI @SMQureshiPTI we are facilitating them and all hotels evacuated in Islamabad for their stay and @BorisJohnson @10DowningStreet what they are doing with us they are preferred those where corona more than us it is unfair https://t.co/xhhAZpy636
— Dr M Nadeem Iqbal (@DrNadeemIqbal5) August 27, 2021