COVID-19: 26 Indians stranded in Pakistan seek MEA help

Coronavirus lockdown: 26 from Gujarat stranded in Pakistan seek MEA help to return

Representative image. (Credit: iStock)

Twenty-six people from Godhra in Gujarat, stranded in Pakistan due to the lockdown, have sought help of the Ministry of External Affairs to cross the Attari-Wagah border on June 4.

They had gone to Karachi in February-March to attend weddings and meet relatives but were forced to stay after lockdown for coronavirus came into force in India, trains and flights were canceled and the Attari border point was sealed.

In a letter to the Indian High Commission, the group requested that the MEA ensure that they were allowed to cross the Attari-Wagah border on June 4 for boarding train for Godhra.

"Kindly let us know immediately so that we can leave Karachi on June 2, and reach Wagah-Attari border on time on June 4. Hopefully, you will make every possible effort to make proper arrangements for us," the letter said.

"Crossing the border is the only impediment for us now," said Ishaq Bokda, one of the stranded Indians, in a video message from Karachi, shared by his son back in Godhra.

"On May 21, we gave undertaking as per the direction of the High Commission of India in Islamabad that we will follow Indian government's rules and regulations regarding lockdown and will remain in self-quarantine after reaching home.

"But despite that, we have not yet received any reply from them," Ishaq Bokda said.

"As train services in India resume from June 1, my six family members and twenty others from Godhra currently stuck in Karachi have booked confirmed tickets on Golden Temple Mail for June 4," said Arman Bokda, Ishaq's son, while sharing the letter and video message.

"They will board the train from Amritsar. But they are still uncertain about crossing the border," he said.

"There are around 300 Indians stuck in Pakistan due to the lockdown. They had earlier appealed to the government to bring them back on special flights under Vande Bharat Mission. However, no such arrangement was made. We hope the government will ensure their return home this time by allowing them to cross the Wagah border," Bokda said. 


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