Stranded Kashmiri’s in Dubai Want Direct Flight to Srinagar

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A photo of the Dubai airport with stranded flights due to coronavirus lockdown. AFP photo

Srinagar: Hundreds of Kashmiri’s stranded in Dubai and other emirates of the UAE have urged Indian authorities to arrange direct flights from Dubai to Srinagar for their smooth return to Kashmir.

Shakeel Ahmad a representative of stranded Kashmiri’s appealed Indian authorities to ensure their return to Kashmir without any further delay. According to one estmate there are 550 Kashmiri’s stranded in UAE except those who have resident visa and they include elderly, kids, pregnant women and other patients suffering from different ailments. “All stranded Kashmiri’s are in distress as their repeated pleas didn’t yield any positive response so far”, he said.

According to Shakeel they have been informed by the Indian Consulate in Dubai they travel will be facilitated only upto New Delhi. “We fear that incoming Kashmiri’s will be quarantined in an ‘unfavourable’ atmosphere there and that would be beyond the patience of elders and pregnant women. Moreover the high temperatures in Delhi are an additional problem for many”.

Shakeel further added that they assured the officials at the Indian Consulate that stranded Kashmiri’s should be airlifted directly to Srinagar after which they will voluntarily put themselves before authorities for medical formalities.

Another stranded Kashmiri Amir Rafiq said that he had arrived in Dubai on January 19, 2020 as a tourist but got stuck because of lockdow. “Before few days I registered myself for for the evacuation under ‘Vande Mission Baharat’ but Indian Consulate in Dubai informed me through telephone that I can’t be evacuated because there was no flight for Jammu and Kashmir. I was advised to contact J&K administration instead”, Rafiq told Kashmir Observer.

When contacted Baseer Ahmad Khan, Advisor to Lt Governor said he will take up the issue with administration and try utmost to ease out hardships faced by Kashmiri’s stranded in the UAE.

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