The first batch of Pakistani students stranded at home returned to China on Monday after Beijing agreed to a phased approach to deal with the matter, APP reported.
Thousands of Pakistanis studying in China have been waiting for Beijing to greenlight their return and lift coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
A Pakistan International Airlines special flight, PK-6854, with 90 students on board took off from Islamabad International Airport and landed at Xian Xianyang International Airport at 15.00 local time, APP reported citing official sources.
All the students will undergo 14-day quarantine in Xian as per Covid-19 control and prevention measures imposed by the local government for the passengers arriving from abroad.
Later, the students will go to their universities in different cities to continue their education.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in his last month’s telephonic conversation with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had discussed the issue of Pakistani students returning to China to resume studies. Premier Li Keqiang had assured that China accorded high priority to the matter.
Resultantly, the two sides agreed on the phased return of the Pakistani students, subject to the Covid-19 situation in China. Initially, Beijing has agreed to the return of around 250 Pakistani students.
Earlier on Monday, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain visited the Islamabad Airport to see off the first batch of Pakistani students.
On the occasion, the minister congratulated the students, stressing that the government remains committed to facilitating the youth in their pursuit of knowledge.
He also praised PIA, saying that despite the busy Hajj schedule, the national airline managed a flight for the Pakistani students.
According to official sources, around 6,000 Pakistani students intend to return to China to resume their studies.
And according to CISU, 5 students were not able to fly due to positive COVID test.