Stranded Indian, Pak nationals return via Attari-Wagah border

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 9

As many as 94 Indians and 81 Pakistani nationals, who were stranded in the two countries owing to the lockdown post Covid outbreak, were repatriated through Attari-Wagah border on Thursday. It is learnt that a body of Pakistani national was also transported to the other side of the border

The Indian nationals were a part of a group of 748 persons in Pakistan. They were allowed to return in three batches last month. However, only 634 of them could return in the three batches on June 25, June 26 and June 27, following necessary health security protocols.

Of the remaining (114) Indians, 20 could not be facilitated back for want of requisite permission. ASI Arun Pal Singh, Attari-Wagah border protocol officer, said among the returnees, a lady hailing from Gujarat was feared to be a suspected case of Covid-19. She was taken away in an ambulance to Government Hospital in Amritsar.

“As she arrived, her temperature was found to be abnormal and she was instantly shifted to Amritsar Hospital for further check-up. Her further tests will reveal the exact details about her condition,” he said.

Those who returned include 34 persons from Jammu and Kashmir, 16 from Rajasthan, 13 from New Delhi, 11 from UP, 10 each from Punjab and Gujarat. They will be shifted to their native states, where they will undergo the quarantine process.

The Ministry of External Affairs had facilitated the movement of 82 Pakistani nationals through Wagah border on July 9 on the request of Pakistan high commission in New Delhi.

Raghini Sharma, a Pakistani resident, said she was of Indian origin, but got married in Pakistan. “I came to India as my mother died on March 7. Between this period, the lockdown was imposed. Now, I am happy to reunite with my family,” she said. Mursalin from Karachi said he came to Kanpur six months ago to attend a wedding, but got stuck amid the Covid lockdown. “I was constantly in touch with the Pakistan embassy here and the permission was granted only now,” he said.

Imran said he came to see his daughter in India. “Due to the lockdown, I, too, got stranded. I am thankful to both India and Pakistani governments for facilitating us to go back home,” he said.

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