As many as 315 Pakistanis languishing in Malaysian detainee camps despite completing their jail terms will return home on May 29 after provision of financial and legal assistance from the government of Pakistan.
“The government will bear all the expenses incurred on their repatriation,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari said on Thursday.
“Thanks a lot to the Almighty, 315 Pakistani prisoners, who could not afford to buy air tickets, will be spending Eidul Fitr with their families in Pakistan,” Bukhari said, adding that the credit goes to Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had ordered quick action.
Bukhari said when he received information about the Pakistani prisoners stranded in Malaysia despite completion of their sentences; he took up the matter with the federal cabinet.
On his request, he said, the prime minister directed the Baitul Mal and Foreign Office to release Rs40 million and Rs10 million respectively to bring the stranded Pakistanis back.
The special assistant said the cabinet assigned him the task to ensure their safe repatriation before Eid. The officials of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) and the Community Welfare Attache in Malaysia were in constant contact with the authorities concerned there to fast track the process of their return.
Meanwhile, Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BEOE) Director-General Kashif Noor said that they had informed the Malaysian authorities regarding completion of the formalities to repatriate the 315 Pakistanis on May 29.
The prisoners would be airlifted through a Boeing 777 of the Pakistan International Airlines and the OPF had signed an agreement with the PIA in that regard, he added.
Kashif said initially it was estimated that around Rs60 million would be required as transportation charges and other costs, which, however, had been reduced to Rs50 million on interventions by Bukhari.