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India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India had offered to evacuate stranded Pakistani students from coronavirus-hit Wuhan …. reports Asian Lite News

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar during a press conference on 100 days of Government, in New Delhi on Sep 17, 2019. (Photo: IANS) by .
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar during a press conference on 100 days of Government, in New Delhi on Sep 17, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

When the Imran Khan government turned a blind eye to Pakistani students at Wuhan, India came forward to help them.

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India had offered to evacuate stranded Pakistani students from coronavirus-hit Wuhan. He was answering to a question at Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House.

Mr Jaishankar told the House that before the two Air India flights were sent in, India had offered ‘bring back all the people in our neighbourhood’.

Replying to a question posed by BJP-nominated MP Rupa Ganguly, S Jaishankar told the House that before the two Air India flights were sent in, India had offered ‘bring back all the people in our neighbourhood’.

“At the time when two flights were going, we had told all the students and the larger community in Wuhan that we were prepared not only to bring back our own people but bring back all the people in our neighbourhood who would like to come back,” Jaishankar said.

“This was an offer which was made to all our neighbours, but of them, seven nationals of Maldives chose to avail the offer. But the offer was made to everybody,” the minister clarified.

Last week, two Air India flights had brought back 638 Indian nationals and seven nationals of Maldives.

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A Hubei resident arrives at Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province

The minister also informed the House that despite an evacuation effort, 80 Indians — including 10 who were barred from boarding the evacuation flight as they showed symptoms of coronavirus — have remained back in Wuhan.

Jaishankar said that the 70 Indians chose not to be evacuated, but the Indian Embassy is in constant touch with them all.

“I want to assure the House and the families of those in Wuhan that the embassy is in touch with all students and is regularly monitoring their welfare,” he said.

Earlier, Ravish Kumar, the Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, said that India will consider evacuating Pakistani students if the Imran Khan government requests for the same.

The statement comes a day after Pakistan refused to airlift students out of Wuhan — the epicentre of the deadly novel coronavirus that has claimed more than 500 lives already. Hundreds of Pakistani nationals are reportedly stuck in Wuhan, most of them being students. They have made repeated fervent appeals to Imran Khan to rescue them, but their government has denied them help for “the larger interest” of the region and the world.

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