Mr Dominic Raab
Foreign Secretary

Dear Sir,

These are particularly difficult times for British nationals stranded abroad due to lockdown of flights and other means of travels. We welcome your government’s decision to set aside a significant sum of £75 million to facilitate the return of British nationals.

As you may be aware, large numbers of British nationals and their families (including the elderly, those with long term health conditions and children) are stranded in Pakistan.

The travelling arrangements being offered are restricted to travelling by PIA, Pakistan’s national airline. This restriction is resulting in stranded individuals and families having to pay extortionist fares to secure their flights.

Many British nationals stranded in Pakistan are unable to afford these extortionist fares. For us, this is a significant concern. A concern I believe is shared by British Pakistanis across the UK. We therefore strongly suggest that:

1. Travelling arrangements be extended to other airlines operating to and from Pakistan. Such an extension will ease the pressure of travelling solely via PIA.

2. Those who originally travelled with return tickets should be able to return on those tickets without having to pay additional fares.

3. British nationals should also include those holding dual nationalities and those who are ordinarily resident in the UK.

4. Health precautions are introduced at both departure and arrival for COVID-19 infection detection and safeguarding.

We kindly request prompt action on your part to relieve the distress of those stranded in Pakistan and elsewhere.

Yours sincerely,

Zulfiqar Karim
President, Council for Mosques