Families of Pakistanis stranded in China demand students’ return and reject govt briefing.
ISLAMABAD: The families of Pakistanis who have not been evacuated from China amid the outbreakof the coronavirus known as COVID-19 protested calling for their return and refused the argument put forward by special assistants to the prime minister onoverseas Pakistanis and national health services.
They blocked Margalla Road in F-8 in protest, arguing that even Afghanistan and Bangladesh had evacuated their citizens from China and asked why Pakistan decided not to do so.
They announced that they would protest and hold a sit-in outside the Chinese embassy and outside ministries if their concerns are not addressed.
A briefing for the relatives of Pakistanis who are stranded in China was arranged on directions from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to take them into confidence regarding why the government decided not to evacuate citizens.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari told participants at the briefing that the coronavirus situation in China has become complicated.
We are aware and can realise the problem and anxiety of parents. However, we can assure you that those Pakistani citizens are in safe hands. China has also given permission for two representatives from the Pakistani embassy to visit the affected area and observe the students’ issues. Pakistan is the only country that has been sending diplomats to the affected area and even they will not be able to return without [being quarantined],” he said.
A representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said ministry officials care more about the 1,200 students than themselves, adding: “Two representatives of the embassy have gone into theNCV-hitarea and we can see their movement live