1,019 return as evacuation mission ends: Foreign Office

Updated 10 Apr 2015

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FO says 1,019 stranded Pakistanis were evacuated in the last 10 days, while some 100-150 Pakistanis chose to stay. —Reuters/File
FO says 1,019 stranded Pakistanis were evacuated in the last 10 days, while some 100-150 Pakistanis chose to stay. —Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) announced that the evacuation mission initiated to rescue Pakistani citizens who were stranded in war-torn Yemen has culminated after all Pakistanis were brought home.

"1,019 stranded Pakistanis have been evacuated from Yemen in the last 10 days by three special flights, three naval evacuations and a land evacuation through neighbouring Oman. However, there may still be an estimated 100-150 Pakistanis left in the country," FO spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said.

Take a look: Tears of joys as Pakistanis return safely from Yemen

Regarding the Pakistanis who have been left over in Yemen, Aslam said they are mostly the ones who have chosen to stay in Yemen.

She said the emergency evacuation operation has thus effectively culminated on April 7, 2015, since her office does not have any more compatriots registered for evacuation.

Read: Another 135 Pakistanis return from Yemen

The spokesperson said this was the first wide-scale evacuation from Yemen carried out through special flights and Navy vessels during the current crisis, and the first to conclude successfully, safely bringing back all nationals wanting to evacuate at a minimal cost to the national exchequer.

Aslam further said a special exemption was obtained from the Saudi government for the “No Fly” restriction imposed on Yemeni airspace, along with ground clearances from local authorities.

Also read: Pakistan Navy ship carrying 182 arrives in Karachi from Yemen

"Seamless implementation of a historic emergency evacuation mission, under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s leadership and supervision, has ensured a safe return for all our stranded citizens in Yemen and earned laurels for the country, with a number of foreign nationals having been rescued and returned to their countries," she concluded.