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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Pakistanis going to Saudi Arabia stranded in Kenya

More than 100 people who took a connecting flight from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia through Kenya Airways have been stranded in Nairobi after Riyadh authorities stopped them due to travel restrictions.

Pakistani passengers who were flying to Saudi Arabia via a connecting flight have landed in Nairobi instead of Riyadh after Riyadh authorities refused to let them through due to travel restrictions in Saudi Arabia.

The passengers were travelling through Kenya Airways and had earlier reached Dubai through the flight from where they have to depart for Saudi Arabia.

More than 100 Pakistanis have so far been quarantining in Nairobi for 14 days. They were left unattended at the Nairobi Airport and have not been contacted by the Pakistani government to offer any help in these testing times.

Read more: CAA unable to comply with UAE’s travel demands

Many of the passengers had been travelling with their families and are facing troubles due to the incompetence of the travel agency as well as the miscommunication between the official authorities of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Travel restrictions

Saudi Arabia has relaxed its travel restrictions on 24th August for fully vaccinated expats allowing them to directly enter the kingdom from countries facing travel bans including Pakistan.

The new decision will be applicable only to those foreigners who have a valid residency permit (iqama) and left the kingdom on exit and re-entry visa after taking two doses of vaccine against coronavirus from Saudi Arabia.

The Pakistani embassy of Saudi Arabia has confirmed the news and welcomed the decision.

Earlier in July, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi discussed the issue with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, who was on a day-long visit to Pakistan.

During the conference, Shah Mehmood Qureshi took up the issue of almost 400,000 workers stranded in Pakistan due to travel restrictions and vaccination issues.

Read more: Emirates flight attendant stands on Burj Khalifa to celebrate new UK travel plans

The Pakistani workforce in Saudi Arabia contributes $7 billion, or a quarter of the country’s total annual remittances.