Pakistan’s warship PNS Aslat has arrived at the Karachi port today. The ship successfully rescued 182 people stranded in Yemen, including 146 Pakistanis, 8 Chinese, 11 Indians, 5 from the Philippines, 4 from Britain and 8 from other countries. PNS Aslat had reached Yemen’s southeastern city of Al-Mukallah on April 3. Al-Mukallah has been almost entirely captured by Al-Qaeda fighters.
Foreigners thank Pakistan government
PNS Aslat had to switch the evacuation efforts from Al-Mukallah to the nearby Ash Shihr port because all roads leading to the Al-Mukallah port were closed, making it difficult to bring people to the warship. The Pakistani naval ship sailed from strife-torn Yemen on April 4, reports ARY News. People stranded in Yemen have seen a lot of difficulties as the Saudi-led coalition continues to bomb Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
148 Pakistanis safely evacuated today.35 foreign nationals -8 Chinese,11 Indians & 4 British also on board. PNS will reach Khi on Apr. 7.
— M. Nafees Zakaria (@ForeignOfficePk) April 4, 2015
Foreigners evacuated by PNS Aslat thanked the Pakistan government. The Ambassadors of China and India were present at the Karachi port when the warship docked there. Foreign nationals will be sent back to their homeland following communications with their respective embassies. About 3,000 Pakistanis were living in Yemen before the Saudi-led airstrikes began. About 1,800 of them have been successfully evacuated so far.
Another Pakistani ship leaves for Djibouti
Another Pakistan Navy Ship “Shamsheer” has left for Djibouti today after evacuating 50 people from Yemen’s fourth-largest city Al Hudaydah. From Djibouti, people will be brought back home. Pakistan has supported Saudi Arabia-led airstrikes in Yemen, and is considering to join the coalition. Last week, a high-level civilian-military delegation visited Riyadh to discuss the issue.
Saudi Arabia had previously requested Pakistan to join the coalition by contributing ground troops, navy ships and fighter jets. However, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said today that the country was in “no hurry” to join the offensive in Yemen. So far, not a single lawmaker in Islamabad has favored sending troops. Pakistan’s defense minister Khawaja Asif said Pakistan would stand by Saudi Arabia if there is any threat to Riyadh’s “territorial integrity.”