Pakistan prepares to evacuate citizens from Yemen
A convoy of 12 buses would transport 500 people to the western port city of Hudaidah on Saturday, Pakistan says
Pakistan Saturday said it was preparing to evacuate its citizens and diplomatic staff stranded in Yemen, with two planes on standby.
“Pursuant to the directive of the prime minister, the government of Pakistan is making all necessary arrangements for immediate evacuation of Pakistani community members and embassy personnel from Yemen,” said a statement from the foreign office.
There are around 3,000 Pakistanis in Yemen and the foreign office said stranded citizens were being taken to safer cities from where special PIA flights will be arranged to bring them home.
A convoy of 12 buses would transport 500 people to the western port city of Hudaidah on Saturday, it said, with two PIA planes on standby.
“We are also in contact with all neighboring countries of Yemen for evacuation of Pakistanis there without visa by any safe means,” it said in a tweet.
In an earlier tweet, the foreign office said it was facing problems evacuating stranded citizens, with the main airports dysfunctional while routes to operating airports and the sea were unsafe.
Pakistani television channels aired live Skype and telephone interviews with citizens stranded in Yemen who complained that they were being threatened by rebels.
On Friday, Pakistan’s defense minister said it was ready to defend Yemen’s “territorial integrity” but had not yet decided to join the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Shiite Houthi rebels.
Saudi Arabia launched air strikes on Thursday to defend the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi from the advancing insurgents.
Pakistan is a longstanding ally of Saudi Arabia with close military ties, but Islamabad has not yet committed to the operation, which has drawn strong criticism from its neighbor Iran, the major Shiite Muslim power.
Yemen president returns to Saudi Arabia with King SalmanYemen Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin said Hadi would not return to his country ‘for now’ Middle East
54 dead in three days of clashes in Yemen’s Aden: health officialA series of heavy explosions at an arms depot rocked Yemen’s second city Aden Middle East
Ban Ki-moon urges U.N. talks to prevent long Yemen conflictTh U.N. chief urged Arab leaders to resolve the crisis in Yemen peacefully Middle East
Saudi armed forces deploy in al-Horth region bordering YemenAccording to the Saudi colonel, the patrols are covering 68 kilometers of borders with Yemen from the side of al-Horth area Middle East
King Salman vows to continue Yemen campaignCampaign 'will continue until it achieves its goals for the Yemeni people to enjoy security,' king tells Arab League Middle East
Yemen’s President Hadi calls Houthis ‘Iran's puppet’President Hadi: 'I say to Iran’s puppet, you have destroyed Yemen with your political immaturity' Middle East
How Saudi intervention in Yemen prevented a disasterA dangerous, but plausible scenario, is that the Houthis, like many revolutionaries before them, could have implemented a reign of terror Analysis