6,000 British nationals require urgent repatriation.
The United Kingdom are dealing with chartered flights for British Pakistanis who are currently stranded in Pakistan as any UK MPs question why they have not provided enough support.
Approximately 90 British parliamentarians have urged the UK government to take immediate actions to repatriate some 6,000 Britons in Pakistan.
Writing to the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Labour MP Afzal Khan has requested the repatriation of British nations stuck in Pakistan.
Currently, the letter has been signed by 90 members of Parliament.
These include MP for Bradford West Naz Shah, Imran Khan MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Khalid Mahmood MP, Claudia Webbe MP, Mohammad Yasin MP, Sam Terry MP, former shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott MP, Lord Nazir and many more.
According to the Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons and MP from Gorton in Manchester, Afzal Khan, has stated 6,000 British nationals require urgent repatriation.
Afzal Khan, who is also a part of Labour’s shadow cabinet further added the flights which were announced by the Pakistan and UK governments were not enough to bring people home.
In an interaction with The News, MP Afzal Khan revealed the British government had organised chartered flights to bring back nations from numerous countries such as India.
Yet, he went on to question why the same was not being done to ensure British Pakistanis are being bought home safely. Previously, there were over 10,000 Britons stranded in Pakistan.
MP Naz Shah, who held a live telephone conversation with Pakistan’s Minister for Overseas Pakistanis, Zulfiqar Bukhari, has also voiced his concern on the matter.
As a result of the combined efforts of Pakistani origin members of parliament, the Pakistan government capped flight prices at £750 per flight each way.
Despite this initiative, it was reported many flights have been sold for much more than the capped price.
However, these flights did not operate despite the tickets being charged.
Cancellation of these flights has caused immense stress to British Pakistanis stranded in Pakistan.
A considerable number of these stranded Britons are simply holiday goers who visited Pakistan for a short term visit.
Their livelihoods have been majorly impacted because of the outbreak of the coronavirus which is preventing flights.
MP Afzal Khan showed his appreciation for the commencement of loans by the UK government, however, he believed it was not enough. He said:
“The availability of loans is, of course, welcome, however for many of our constituents, this does not go far enough.”
“Short term loans to cover the immediate costs of returning home are helpful but in the long term, these nationals will still have to pay for the chaotic mismanagement of PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) and the British repatriation effort.
“Is the government considering any other forms of financial aid or other help to alleviate the economic difficulties nationals now fund themselves in?”
According to a spokesperson for the PIA, it was disclosed they are dealing with the difficult situation to ensure Britons can return home.