ISLAMABAD: The prime minister's special assistant on overseas Pakistanis, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, on Wednesday discussed with Saudi Arabia's deputy labor minister, Abdullah bin Nasser Abuthnain, the possibility of increasing the frequency of flights to the kingdom to allow more Pakistanis to return to their Saudi workplaces.
Saudi Arabia is home to over 3 million Pakistani expats, many of them have been unable to return to the kingdom due to limited flights and flight restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Frequency of flights of both Saudi air carriers and PIA may be increased as there is a lot of pressure from the workers who want to go back to Saudi Arabia. Lack of availability of flights has also resulted in exorbitant airfares,” Bukhari said during an online meeting with.
Abuthnain, as quoted in a statement by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis.
He requested Saudi authorities to extend until Oct. 30 the resident permits (iqamas) of Pakistani workers who are currently in their homeland, waiting for their turn to go back to Saudi Arabia.
Abuthnain, according to the statement, promised to raise both issues during a joint meeting of the ministries of commerce, interior, labor and human resources.
Bukhari also congratulated Abuthnain on the occasion of Saudi Arabia's 90th National Day.