Passengers desperate to reach Saudi Arabia before expiry of visas continue to protest

September 30, 2020

PESHAWAR: Migrant workers desperate to reach Saudi Arabia before the expiry of their visas continued to throng the local offices of the Pakistan International Airlines to seek a seat on its flights...

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PESHAWAR: Migrant workers desperate to reach Saudi Arabia before the expiry of their visas continued to throng the local offices of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to seek a seat on its flights to the Kingdom.

As most of them are unable to get a seat, they become restless, stage protest and raise slogans in support of their demand. They are angry with the PIA and the government as they risk losing their jobs in Saudi Arabia if they don’t reach there in time.

September 30 is the date most of them want to enter Saudi Arabia as this is the expiry day of their visas. The flights to Saudi Arabia were stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic and the number of stranded passengers kept piling up. Though the PIA has increased its flights and has promised to run more in the coming days, it is still not enough as the number of passengers is high.

Many passengers belonging to different parts of the province have spent days in Peshawar in the hope of getting a seat on the PIA flights to Saudi Arabia. Those unable to get a seat make all sorts of accusations, including payment of the bribe to those who can provide seats or using connections to the higher officials.

Those desperate to fly to Saudi Arabia are migrant workers who got visas after paying a hefty fee to recruitment agents and got jobs with great difficulty. The situation back home is miserable as there is high unemployment so they must go abroad to earn a living.



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