Around 95% of stranded Pakistanis brought back home: Andleeb Abbas

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ISLAMABAD, JULY 29 (DNA) – National Assembly was informed on Wednesday that around 95 percent of stranded Pakistanis have been brought back home in about two and half months in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Parliamentary Secretary on Foreign Affairs Andleeb Abbas during question hour said that about 250,000 stranded Pakistanis were repatriated from across the world.

Majority of Pakistani Zaireen have also returned from Iran. She said that around 25 Zaireen are still living in Iran with their relatives and friends in Qom and Mashhad.

She said holy shrines in these cities are currently closed due to the second wave of COVID-19 in Iran. Andleeb Abbas said the remaining Pakistani Zaireen are likely to return to the country by next flight of Iran Air from Tehran to Karachi tomorrow and via Taftan border.

The Parliamentary Secretary said that Pakistan Embassy in Tehran and Consulates in Mashhad and Zahidan are in constant touch with the Pakistani community to ensure their wellbeing and their return to Pakistan.

The National Assembly today passed “The Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2020]” and “The United Nations (Security Council) (Amendment) Bill, 2020” with a majority vote amid sloganeering from the opposition benches.

This legislation is related to fulfill certain requirements of the Financial Action Task Force in order to bring Pakistan out of FATF’s grey list.

The legislation is aimed at empowering the federal government to direct authorities in Pakistan to implement various measures, in the Security Council resolutions including the freezing and seizure of assets, travel ban and arms embargo on the entities and individuals, who are designated on the sanctions list of the United Nations.

UN Security Council Resolution 1373 requires member states to implement counter terrorism measures, especially countering the financing of terrorism through their domestic laws. This obligation is implemented in Pakistan through Anti-Pakistan Act, 1997.

Minister for Communication and Postal Services Murad Saeed said there will be no compromise on accountability and no NRO will be extended to anyone. Talking on floor of the National Assembly, he said it is regrettable that the opposition parties want NRO and are doing politics for extending support to an important legislation meant for national interest of the country.

The Minister said no concession will be given to those who have plundered Pakistan. =DNA

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