1,200 Pakistanis released from UAE jails

Published in Express Tribune on July 26,2020

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the PM on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari on Sunday said the government had made special efforts to ensure the release and repatriation of 1,200 Pakistani prisoners from the UAE during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Only 121 Pakistanis remain in Abu Dhabi jails, he tweeted.

The SAPM praised the UAE government for its compassionate gesture amid the pandemic.

Separately, the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development said an Emirati businessman had committed Rs10 million for the repatriation of Pakistanis stranded in the UAE.

The businessman, Suhail Galadari, the co-chairman of Galadari Brothers, made the commitment during a meeting with SAPM Bukhari, who recently concluded his two-day official visit to UAE.

According to a tweet by the ministry, Bukhari visited the headquarters of a newspaper in the UAE and met with owner its Suhail Galadari.

Galadari announced Rs10 million for the repatriation of Pakistanis stuck in the UAE because of the pandemic.
The Emirati businessman also discussed investment and development opportunities in Pakistan’s tourism sector with the SAPM. He expressed his desire to invest in the industry.

“We will invest in the hotel industry and the construction of beautiful resorts as Pakistan is doing a great job in the tourism sector,” the ministry quoted Galadari as saying.

SAPM Bukhari told the businessman that reforms had been introduced in the tourism sector under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“The interest shown by a leading investment group having vast experience in the hotel industry is welcoming,” he added. Bukhari hinted at the opening of 30 resorts in the country for tourists.

The ministry also issued a press release highlighting the SAPM’s two-day visit to the UAE.
According to the ministry, the SAPM met with UAE Minister for Human Resources and Emiratisation Naseer bin Thani to discuss the possibilities for job creation for Pakistanis in the post Covid-19 scenario.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, around 36,000 Pakistanis in the UAE have been laid off and are returning home.

Bukhari also met with a team of the consulate general in Dubai and appreciated their efforts in Covid-19 relief operation.

He appreciated the efforts of the members of Pakistani diaspora, who played a pivotal role in repatriation, ration distribution and funding during the coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing a press conference in Dubai during his visit, Bukhari said the UAE was going to resume visit visa services for Pakistani citizens on August 1.

He appealed to Pakistanis in the UAE to avail of the grace period given by its government to extend the validity of all types of visas by August 17. He added that those who wanted to leave the country could do so by August 17 without being fined.
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