Flouting all social distancing guidelines imposed in the wake of the Wuhan Coronavirus in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), hundreds of stranded Pakistanis protested outside the Pakistan Consulate and demanded to be taken back to their home country. The demonstrators were soon dispersed by the cops for breaching the lockdown.
Amidst the travel restrictions imposed in the Gulf State, more than 20,000 Pakistanis are stuck in the UAW. They have reportedly registered with the Pakistan Consulate on April 3 to return to Pakistan.
#WATCH Abandoned Pakistanis protest outside Pakistan consulate in Dubai after no help was provided to them by either Pakistani authorities or UAE authorities, beg for repatriation to Pakistan. (Source: Amateur video) pic.twitter.com/qOkKkDwP6e— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2020
Several Pakistanis who had expressed their desire to return home have expired visas or have entered the country on a tourist visa. Many such blue-collar migrant workers had lost their jobs or stopped being paid by their Arab employers. Even though the Pakistan Government was in talks with its UAE counterpart to arrange flights for their return, the plan did not materialise.
UAE which had reported 3,360 live cases of the Chinese virus and 16 deaths as of April 10 suspended all its flight operations in March. Even though Etihad Airlines and Emirates have vowed to resume outbound services again to ‘limited destinations’, Pakistan did not feature in the list. As such, the fate of the abandoned Pakistanis is now shrouded in obscurity.
While India continued with its operation to safely evacuate its citizens from Coronavirus hit China, Pakistanis remained stuck at Coronavirus hit China as Pakistan refused to evacuate their citizens stranded in Wuhan, as an “act of solidarity” towards their ally China.
Earlier, a heartbreakingly tragic video had emerged in which a Pakistani student shamed Pakistani authorities for their apathy towards them as he watched Indian students boarding a bus sent by the Indian embassy. The bus carried these Indian students to the airport from where they were airlifted to India.
Pakistan President Arif Alvi also shocked the world when he resorted to preaching Islam to fellow Pakistanis stuck in China instead of advising the Pakistan government on the urgent need of evacuating their citizens who are begging for help amidst global health crisis of Coronavirus attack in China.
“Prophet’s directions regarding disease outbreaks are a good guide even 2day. ‘If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it, but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place’ (Bukhari & Muslim) Let us help those stuck there,” tweeted Pakistan President Arif Alvi.