PIA to fly back Pakistanis from Doha

Islamabad: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will operate special flights to Doha to bring back Pakistani pilgrims stranded there, a day after several countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

PIA Chief Financial Officer Nayyar Hayat had directed that special flights be arranged for the stranded pilgrims, Dawn newspaper reported on Tuesday.

During Ramadan, Pakistani pilgrims who were travelling to Saudi Arabia for Umrah via Qatar were stranded in Doha after seven countries severed diplomatic ties with Qatar for supporting terrorism and extremism.

Saudi Arabia and its allies closed all land sea and air contacts with Qatar.

Hayat asked the country manager of PIA to coordinate with the Pakistanis stuck in Qatar. PIA officials in Doha were directed to contact the Pakistani Embassy.

Qatar called the decision “unjustified and based on slander”.