Stranded in Pak, 300 Indians likely to return via Wagah on Tuesday
Nearly 300 Indians stranded in various parts of Pakistan due to the closure of the borders in the wake of the coronavirus-induced lockdown are likely to return home through the Attar-Wagah border in Amritsar on Tuesday.
Ministry of external affairs (MEA) deputy secretary Sandeep Kumar said the repatriation process has been initiated but the date of their return is yet to be finalised.
A senior official of the Land Port Authority of India (LPAI), which manages the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at the international border, said, “We expect the return of those stranded after Monday. It will most likely be on Tuesday.”
The ICP also facilitates India’s trade with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
According to reports in the Pakistan media, among those stranded are 80 students from Jammu and Kashmir who are studying there. Around 10 Indians are stuck in Islamabad, 200 in Karachi and other parts of Sindh province where they had gone to meet their relatives, it is learnt.
Nearly a dozen people, most of them from Amritsar who had gone to the neighbouring country for paying obeisance at various gurdwaras, including Nankana Sahib, are stuck in Lahore.
Satbir Singh (60), his wife Jasmeen Kaur along with three others from Amritsar had gone to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib on March 10. They have been staying at the house of Amrik Singh, a Lahore residemt.
“The health department in Pakistan has conducted their coronavirus tests as part of the repatriation process and they were found negative. My father is unwell as the medicines prescribed to him are not available at drug stores there,” said Satbir’s son Kamaljeet Singh, who deals in auto spare parts in Amritsar.
On May 27, the Indian government had facilitated the return of 179 Pakistani nationals, who were aso stranded due to the lockdown, through the land route. After the lockdown, India has allowed nearly 400 Pakistani nationals to return their homes via the Wagah border.
India suspended the cross-border movement of passengers through the Attari-Wagah border On March 14.