Expats fear for their jobs if Pak-UAE flights remain suspended

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - This photo shows the travellers at Karachi airport. File photo

Agha Riaz, Staff Reporter

Pakistani expatriates from the United Arab Emirates stranded in Pakistan since April due to a coronavirus-related travel ban have called on the Pakistani government and the diplomatic missions in Abu Dhabi and to help them get back to the UAE soon.

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Stranded UAE-based expatriates are becoming increasingly concerned about their jobs.

Many stranded expats in different cities of Pakistan are waiting and praying for the situation to normalise, so that they can resume their jobs and earn their bread and butter for their families.


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Expats stuck in Pakistan told Gulf Today that they hoped the authorities would lift the entry restrictions for the resident visa holders, especially those who are fully vaccinated.

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A Pakistani receives a dose of coronavirus vaccine at a university in Islamabad. AFP

UAE-based expatriates, especially stranded in their home countries, are becoming increasingly concerned about jobs, a new survey has found.

New research carried out by Zurich International Life revealed that more than 50 per cent of foreign workers in the country are far from confident about retaining their jobs.

The Embassy in Abu Dhabi also had raised travel concerns of Pakistani expatriates stranded in their home country before the authorities to help resolve the situation.

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File photo of the Embassy of Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Nazir Javed Bhatti said, “I have a job there and these travel restrictions cost me a lot. I am like in a nowhere to go situation. I came to Pakistan to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with my family. My return flight was booked for May 28, but got stuck due to flight suspension.”

Another expatriate, Nabidad Khan, who went to Karachi from Sharjah in May, said it was not possible for him to pay thousands of rupees towards family expenses. “Because of restrictions I am not able to resume my duty back in the UAE.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of Pakistani expatriate workers were rallying in the capital, Islamabad, on Wednesday, demanding they be quickly inoculated with the Pfizer or Astra Zeneca vaccine so that they could travel abroad.

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Overseas Pakistani workers wait to receive a dose of Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Islamabad. AFP

The protesters, who earlier this week arrived in Islamabad from various parts of the country, blocked a key road outside a mass vaccination centre after they were told that the specific vaccines were being arranged for them.

Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity rate has remained below the 3 per cent mark for the last 15 days, as strict restrictive measures backed by vaccination enabled this declining trend, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said.

Pakistan on Wednesday has reported 979 new cases of coronavirus and 1,499 recoveries from the disease during the last 24 hours.

 

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