ISLAMABAD: A day after the government announced to repatriate students from the Chinese city of Wuhan, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez on Saturday confirmed that a special flight of the national flag carrier will bring back the stranded nationals on May 18.
According to Hafeez, some 250 students will be brought back on the first flight which will land in Islamabad.
The schedule for three more flights will be announced next week, he added.
The announcement was earlier made by Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistani Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari on Twitter. “I’m very happy for the 1st flight going to Wuhan to bring back our Pakistani students on 18/05/2020,” he wrote.
“You guys have been the bravest soldiers, PM Imran Khan & Pakistan are proud of you,” he added.
I’m very happy for the 1st flight going to Wuhan to bring back our Pakistani students on 18/05/2020.
You guys have been the bravest soldiers, PM @ImranKhanPTI & Pakistan are proud of you.
Welcome back home !
— Sayed Z Bukhari (@sayedzbukhari) May 8, 2020
Earlier in January, when the coronavirus had not spread all over the world, Pakistani students in China had said that they were terrified and were “being kept in one room.” It was learnt that a few of the students had been tested for coronavirus amid a hysteria that had spread throughout the world.
When the news broke out that the students were in a difficult situation, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr Zafar Mirza had said that it was not advisable to evacuate nationals from China, noting that Beijing would demonstrate responsible behaviour and not become a part in spreading the virus.