11 Yemen evacuees come home in a Pak plane; Modi thanks Sharif

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2015 23:56 IST

Eleven Indians, who were evacuated from Yemen by a Pakistan navy vessel, arrived in Delhi on Wednesday by a special plane of Pakistan Air Force.

Pakistan High Commission Abdul Basit was at the airport to welcome the Indian nationals. Joint Secretary in External Affairs Ministry responsible for States division Gopal Baglay was also present to receive them.

The Indians were among 182 people, including 36 foreigners, who were brought to Pakistan's port city of Karachi on Wednesday after being evacuated from Al Mukallah in Yemen. After their arrival in Karachi on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had offered a special plan to ferry them here, an offer which was accepted by India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif for the "humanitarian gesture" and remarked that "service to humanity knows no borders".

"I welcome our 11 citizens who've returned from Yemen with assistance from Pakistan. Thank you Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for your humanitarian gesture," Modi tweeted.

"Service to humanity knows no borders. Glad we helped many countries in evacuation from Yemen," he added.

Signalling a gradual thaw in the ties, Pakistan PM is also learnt to have spoken to PM Narendra Modi as two neighbours bonded over evacuating each other’s citizens from strife-torn Yemen.

India too had rescued three Pakistani nations among 409 nationals from 32 countries.

The Indian Air Force has so far brought 1762 Indians home from strife-torn Yemen, with another aircraft from Djibouti expected to land in Delhi on Thursday morning.

"In a well-coordinated operation involving multiple agencies, IAF deployed C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and it made eight shuttles from Djibouti to India and an additional shuttle from Kochi to Mumbai last night," IAF said in a release on Wednesday night.

On its part, Indian Navy had pressed its ships 'Mumbai' and 'Tarkash' into evacuation efforts launched under 'Operation Raahat' and also diverted 'INS Sumitra' from its anti-piracy patrol in the region to facilitate the operation.

Yemen has been witnessing fierce battle between Saudi-led coalition and Shiite rebels, who have battled their way into various cities Yemen including in the former stronghold of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi who has fled overseas.

(With inputs from PTI)

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