Efforts underway to release Pakistanis detained in Libya: FO

* Tasnim Aslam says additional flights being organised to evacuate thousands of stranded Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Embassy in Tripoli is continuing with its efforts to get all detained Pakistanis released from Libyan jails, Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said on Tuesday.
She said out of the total 175 Pakistanis detainees, 107 have been already released. The spokeswoman said the case for release of 68 Pakistani detainees at Tavesha detention centre, where clashes are ongoing between rival militias, is already in process. The number of Pakistanis in the relief camps set up by the Pakistani embassy has now jumped to 1,700 and is increasing daily. 
The spokeswoman said additional flights to bring back the stranded Pakistanis are scheduled for later this week following the prime minister’s instructions, 509 Pakistanis stranded in Libya were brought back home last week through a special PIA flight. Over 2,000 Pakistanis had been evacuated by land routes through neighbouring countries earlier. She said at a time when the security situation in Libya had deteriorated sharply and many essential services become dysfunctional, conducting this massive operation was been a formidable task. It was only made possible by exceptional cooperation among the Pakistani Embassy in Tripoli, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Aviation Division, the Finance and Foreign Affairs ministries.
The spokeswoman said a crisis management cell set up in the Foreign Office was coordinating the evacuation operation, necessitated by the resumed infighting in Libya, which had an expatriate Pakistani community of around 18,000.
“A number of additional flights are being organised to evacuate thousands of stranded Pakistanis in Libya,” she added. 
She said over 1,200 Pakistanis, mostly destitute, were currently housed at the relief camps set up by the Pakistani Embassy in Libya and the number was increasing by the day. 

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