On Monday, more than 450 Indian citizens who had been stranded in Pakistan due to border closures caused by the outbreak of Covid-19 came home through the Wagah border.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Indian citizens were stuck in different areas of Pakistan, since Pakistan had banned travel to and from India in March 2020, after the virus’s breakout. Since then, however, groups of both nations’ citizens have been returned on a regular basis under specific agreements.
Kashmiri students taking professional courses at Pakistani educational institutions were among those who returned on Monday. The procedure for their repatriation began at 11 a.m. and lasted all day.
They were brought from different areas of the nation to the Wagah border under enhanced security, and additional preparations were made to guarantee that the travellers’ entry went well.
405 Indian citizens, 48 NORI (No Objection to Return to India) visa holders, and eight spouses/relatives of NORI visa holders have returned to India thanks to the Indian High Commission in Pakistan.
Refugees who do not have Indian citizenship but are allowed to remain in the country on a long-term visa (LTV) granted by Indian authorities are given a NORI visa. LTV holders who do not have Indian citizenship may go to Pakistan and return after 60 days with the NORI visa.
On January 11, 114 Indian nationals returned home from Pakistan.
India also returned four Pakistani inmates who had served their terms on Monday. They were sent to a quarantine centre in Pakistan after being tested for coronavirus.
Last week, Pakistan imposed travel restrictions on 26 nations, including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, until June 30 to combat the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Following reports of the proliferation of Delta and Delta Plus variants, the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) put these nations in the “C category” and altered the incoming air and land travel classifications.
“Countries in A category are exempted from the mandatory Covid-19 test, travellers from areas in B category require a negative polymerase chain reaction test that must be taken within 72 hours of the travel date, while countries in C category are restricted and people can travel only under specific NCOC guidelines,” said an official of the Ministry of National Health Services.