PUTRAJAYA, March 5 — A total of 44 Malaysians still stranded in Pakistan since February 27, following the closure of the Islamic Republic's air space, is expected to leave the country by the end of the week.
The Malaysian High Commission in Islamabad, in a statement shared on Facebook, said 41 of 85 stranded Malaysians have left in stages since Saturday via Islamabad and Karachi with transit in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, and Jeddah.
Pakistan reopened its airspace yesterday, which was closed from February 27 following strained relations with India due to military incidents at the border between the two countries.
However, according to the high commission, the daily Malindo Air flights (Kuala Lumpur — Lahore — Kuala Lumpur) is still not operational for the time being.
"This is due to the prohibition, by the authorities of a neighbouring country of Pakistan, for any flight operators to use its air space heading to or departing from Pakistan for an indefinite time period.
"The prohibition has also affected Thai Airways from Kuala Lumpur (via Bangkok) to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi," added the statement.
Malaysians have also been advised to postpone non-essential trips to Pakistan until the bilateral relations between Pakistan and India improve, and to take into consideration that the air space may resume closure if tensions re-escalate.
Malaysians who have not registered at the high commission's office have been urged to do so as soon as possible to enable consular services to be dispensed effectively.
Those in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Punjab, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan can call the high commission's officer on duty at +923028443021 or email [email protected].
Malaysians in Balochistan province and Sindh can call the officer on duty at the Consulate General of Malaysia in Karachi at +923000702823 or email [email protected] for help or information.
Tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad, both nuclear-weapons state, escalated since the attack by terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pulwana, India on 14 Feb killed more than 40 people and injured many more. — Bernama