SANAA: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) airplane departed from Sana’a on Sunday, evacuating 133 Pakistani nationals stranded in the war-torn Yemeni city.
“We are very happy that we are finally returning home safely,” Neelma Abbas, one of the Pakistani nationals, told Geo news via telephone from Sana’a airport shortly before boarding the flight.
The flight, which took off around 8:45 am from Karachi airport, is expected to reach Islamabad around 6:00 pm with the 133 Pakistanis from Sana’a.
The plane will then fly to Karachi after a two-hour stay in Islamabad, PIA officials told Geo News.
Pakistani nationals trapped in Sana’a were unable to reach Hudaidah or Mukallah, from where Pakistan previously evacuated its citizens, due to the tense situation around Sana’a.
The Pakistani diplomatic mission in Muscat has also been able to rescue 12 nationals trapped at the Yemen-Oman border, and is arranging for their return home.
According to the Foreign Office, 850 Pakistani nationals have so far been evacuated from Yemen.
Meanwhile, a Pakistani Navy vessel which departed from Alsheher on Saturday is expected to reach Pakistan on Monday (April 7).
The navy frigate has 148 Pakistanis on board, as well as 35 foreign nationals.
“Chinese students and employees, mostly European and Indians of a company whose CEO facilitated our citizens, are on PN ship for evacuation,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam.
“We were brought to Alsheher which is 50 KM from Mukalla under tight security,” said Shahzain who is among the stranded Pakistanis on board the PNS Aslat.
Saudia Arabia and its allies launched Operation Decisive Storm against the Houthi rebels on March 26 to halt their advance in Yemen.