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    Tuesday, June 6, 2017

    550 Pakistani pilgrims stranded in Qatar after diplomatic rift flown to Muscat

    At least 550 Pakistani pilgrims stranded at Doha Airport after a diplomatic rift between Qatar and six other countries were evacuated and flown to Muscat on Tuesday, Pakistani embassy officials told South Punjab News .Pakistani authorities have asked the Pakistani Umra pilgrims not to  travel by Qatar airlines and return their tickets to airlines and use Saudi Arabian airlines, Emirates, PIA and other international airlines. 21 Umra pilgrims belonged to South Punjab who were stranded on Monday night.
    The pilgrims, who were travelling to Saudi Arabia for Umrah via Qatar, were stranded in Doha after several countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Maldives, Yemen and the eastern Libyan government cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.
    All the nations announced plans to cut air and sea traffic to Qatar, which it called 'unjustified'.
    Sadia Khurram, an official of the Pakistani embassy in Qatar, told South Punjab News that initial arrangements to transport Pakistanis stranded at Doha airport to Saudi Arabia were made by Qatar Airways, and that Oman Air was used for the operation.
    In first phase, 400 Pakistanis were transported to Muscat through a special flight at 7:00am on Tuesday, whereas the remaining 150 passengers were also transported to Muscat via Oman Air at 2:30pm, from where the pilgrims are to be sent to Saudi Arabia.
    Khurram said that the Pakistani mission in Doha was in touch with embassies in Oman and Saudi Arabia, whereas Pakistan embassy staff were also present at Muscat International Airport to facilitate passengers upon arrival.
    The embassy official advised Pakistani citizens to avoid travelling to Saudi Arabia through Qatar Airways, or on any flights from Qatar, keeping in view the volatile situation between Qatar and the three other Gulf countries.
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    Item Reviewed: 550 Pakistani pilgrims stranded in Qatar after diplomatic rift flown to Muscat Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar