Zardari wants safe return of stranded Pakistanis in Doha

Qureshi urges govt to clarify position over Qatar issue

Islamabad

Former President and Co-Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari expressed concerns over the stranded Pakistanis in Doha and demanded government should take step to their immediate safe return to Pakistan. In a statement he said that it was government’s onus to make sure the safety of its citizens. ‘One hand Pakistani stranded at Doha airport are in trouble and on the other hand their relatives in Pakistan worried about their safety,’ Zardari said.
He urged the government to expedite efforts to make possible for the immediate return of the trapped Pakistanis. As the conflict between Qatar and Gulf nations gets severe hundreds of Pakistani pilgrims on their way to perform Umra got stranded at Doha Airport, Qatar due to restrictions imposed by neighboring countries on national flag carrier Qatar Airways.
Meanwhile, UAE and Egypt have also imposed restriction on the flying of their airlines to and from Qatar. Around 70 Pakistani flying back home to various cities in Pakistan from Saudi Arabia remain stranded at Doha airport.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Central leader, Shah Mehmood Qureshi Tuesday urged the government to clarify its position over Qatar issue following the cutting of diplomatic relations with it by six countries on charges of supporting some extremist groups.
Terming the recent developments in Qatar as ‘Crisis in the making,’ Qureshi wanted to know ‘What is our position on the issue ?’ and Where do we stand ? asking the government and the Foreign Office to explain. Speaking at the floor of National Assembly, the PTI leader said that since this issue would have great implication on the region, so the government and foreign office should have come to this august house to clarify their position.
He said that Pakistan was enjoying deep relations with Qatar and was importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from it to help overcome the energy problems. However, he added, ‘We did not know where this recent development would lead our future relations with Qatar.’
Qureshi was of the view that earlier, this august house, through collective wisdom, had suggested a proper way on the issue of Yemen and being an important member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) there is need to come with some solution.
He said that Pakistan had strategic relations with Saudi Arabia while Iran was our neighbour, sharing a vast border with us. He said that currently the situation was not conducive at borders with Afghanistan and at the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.
Talking about the budget, he said that the government was presenting its point of view on the budget but the other side of the coin i.e. the viewpoint of opposition was missing, making the whole exercise meaningless.—Agencies

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