OPF directed to evolve mechanism for safe return of expatriates

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development has appreciated the efforts of the Government of Pakistan in timely repatriation of overseas Pakistanis from Yemen.

During the 13th meeting of the committee on Friday, it also directed the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) to evolve a mechanism to cope with any untoward situation facing the expatriates residing in the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) in future.

The NA standing committee meeting reviewed the progress report regarding the relief operation of OPF for safe and timely repatriation of Pakistani nationals from Yemen. The committee appreciated the efforts of OPF and expressed its complete satisfaction on provision of facilities to returning overseas Pakistanis from Yemen. The members directed the authorities concerned to evolve a strategy for facilitating the Pakistani expatriates residing in GCC in case of any untoward circumstances.

Federal Secretary Sikandar Ismail Khan and OPF Managing Director Habibur Rehman Khan briefed the committee on the entire repatriation process from Yemen and about the role of OPF in this regard. They informed the committee that total 1,037 overseas Pakistanis returned through special flights and a naval ship. The committee was apprised that 605 overseas Pakistanis on their return were facilitated by the OPF at Islamabad and Karachi airports and seaport respectively.

The standing committee was also informed that OPF provided free transportation facility to the returning overseas Pakistanis at Islamabad and Karachi airports and seaport and they were also provided with fare to reach their homes at Lahore, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Jhang, Mansehra, Layya and other places. It was also told that on the directions of the Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Pir Syed Saddaruddin Shah Rashdi, the OPF MD had specially flown to Karachi to receive the overseas Pakistanis who arrived by the first special flight of PIA. Whereas, Federal Secretary Sikandar Ismail Khan and OFF MD Habibur Rehman Khan received the returning overseas Pakistanis who arrived through a special Pakistan Navy ship.

It was further informed that OPF made special arrangements to receive these returning overseas Pakistanis and had strengthened OPF Facilitation Counters with additional officers and staff to provide special handling to returning overseas Pakistanis from Yemen. The committee was further told that all overseas Pakistanis on their return were warmly welcomed and facilitated by OPF officers and officials. It was informed that the returning overseas Pakistanis appreciated the efforts of the Government of Pakistan and OPF for helping them in difficult times.

The meeting the NA Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development was held at the OPF Head Office. The meeting was chaired by Mir Amir Ali Khan Magsi and was attended by Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Pir Syed Saddaruddin Shah Rashdi and members of the committee including Rana Muhamad Afzal Khan, Ch Abid Raza, Syed Sajid Mehdi, Mian Najeebuddin Awaisi, Mian Imtiaz Ahmad, Sabiha Nazir, Shakila Khalid Luqman, Musarat Rafique Mahesar, Sheikh Salahuddin, Aliya Kamran, Aisha, Federal Secretary Sikandar Ismail Khan, OPF Managing Director Habibur Rehman Khan and senior officers.

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