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No need to evacuate Pak nationals from Egypt as situation 'almost normal': Envoy

February 8, 2011 - Islamabad

Pakistan's Ambassador to Egypt Seema Naqvi has said there is no need to evacuate Pakistani nationals from the country, as life is almost back to normal there now.

Initially, the riots had pushed the envoy to prepare plans in consultation with the authorities in Islamabad to evacuate Pakistanis from Egypt.

According to these plans, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had to send two airplanes to bring Pakistanis back home from Egypt, but these plans were abandoned after the situation returned to normal.

When asked why it took so long for the PIA in sending these airplanes, the ambassador said that the delay was due to the flight clearance by the Egyptian authorities.

"We got the clearance on February 6," The Nation quoted Naqvi, as saying.

Sharing details relating to the plight of Pakistanis during the turmoil, she pointed out that they had been in places where there were no riots." They all are safe," she maintained.

When her attention was drawn towards certain media reports that exports from Pakistan to Egypt had been adversely affected since the outbreak of the turmoil, Naqvi rejected these reports straightaway, saying that it was not the case.

Answering a question about the possibility of a spillover of the situation in Egypt to other countries, she said it was hypothetical question, as it all depended on how future developments unfolded.

"The situation stands as of today, I would say there were remote chances of its spilling over from Egypt to other regional countries," she said, and expressed the hope that the situation in Egypt would turn conducive.

Naqvi also ruled out the possibility of any fallout of the ongoing turmoil that could cause any dent on the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Egypt.

Irrespective of the regime, Pakistan's relations with Egypt rest on very solid foundations, she said, adding that therefore, there was no possibility of any adverse impact on the bilateral relations.


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