24 killed in Pakistan bus crash fire

Pakistani volunteers handle the burnt remains of bus passengers at an Edhi Foundation mortuary in Karachi on January 22, 2019, following a transport accident. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2019

24 killed in Pakistan bus crash fire

  • Bus was heading from Karachi to Panjgur district of Balochistan
  • Deadly traffic accidents are very common in Pakistan

QUETTA: At least 24 people were killed when a bus in southwest Pakistan burst into flames after crashing with a truck on Monday, officials said.
The bus carrying dozens of passengers was heading from the southern city of Karachi to Panjgur district, when it crashed in Lasbela district.
“We have recovered 24 bodies from the vehicle. All of them were burned,” local administration chief in Lasbela district, Shabir Mengal, told AFP.
“The bus is very hot from the inside, we are taking out bodies slowly.”
Senior police official Agha Ramzan Ali also confirmed the crash and said a rescue operation was underway.
Deadly traffic accidents are very common in Pakistan owing to reckless driving and the bad condition of roads.
Every year hundreds of people lose their lives in traffic related incidents in the country.


Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

Updated 14 November 2019

Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

  • New skills-based system to be launched from next month
  • Will include India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Starting next month, Saudi Arabia will introduce a new skilled foreign manpower program that will eventually include Pakistan, a senior official at the Saudi labor ministry said this week. 

Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor, said on Tuesday in Riyadh that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes.

Under the new policy, visas would be issued only after skill tests and the previous system would be gradually phased out. 

The new scheme would be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it would become compulsory, Al-Omair said. The new program would first be applied to manpower recruited from India due to its large size in the Saudi market.

Eventually, the program will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Saudi Arabia is home to around 2.6 million Pakistani expats those have been a vital source of foreign remittances.

Last year the country received $21.8 billion in remittances out of which $5 billion were remitted by Pakistani nationals working in Kingdom.

According to the Pakistani ministry of finance, there was a major decline in manpower export to Saudi Arabia where only 100,910 emigrants proceeded for employment in 2018 as compared to 2017, a drop of 42,453 emigrants.

However, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, special assistant to the Pakistani prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, said in an interview earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase the share of the Pakistani labor force in the multi-billion dollar New Taif City development.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have formed working groups to develop procedures for this transfer of manpower. Pakistani groups will visit the Kingdom in the coming months to finalize arrangements.