KARACHI: Russia has deported 48 Pakistanis who were part of a group that was held at Moscow airport for hours after landing in the country for a business trip, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.
At least 84 other Pakistanis who are being held at Moscow airport are likely to be deported by the evening, said FO spokesperson Nafees Zakaria.
“The Foreign office is in touch with Russian embassy in Islamabad on the matter,” he said.
The spokesman said Russian government has informed Pakistan embassy in Moscow that the 48 Pakistanis are being deported but did not give any reasons for keeping them in custody.
A video and pictures circulating on social media showed a group of Pakistanis waiting in a crowded room at the airport while in custody.
Television reports said the Pakistanis, who are actually part of a group of traders, were travelling to Russia for an exhibition when they were detained at Moscow airport, along with a few people coming from other countries.
The man recording the group’s video said the Pakistanis landed in Moscow at about 2.30am local time and were being held in custody at the airport for the past eight hours.
“We have not been given any reason [for the detainment],” another man could be heard saying in the video.
The man recording the video added that the group was distributed into three different rooms, but because the rooms were not big enough, there was not enough space for everyone to fit in comfortably.
The video showed a number of people sitting, while several others can be seen lying on the floor.
Some Turkish nationals were also held by authorities, the man recording said, adding that they were later allow to leave.
This comes two days after terror attacks in Brussels, which killed 31 people and wounded 270, sending shockwaves across Europe.
Moscow is among the European capitals which beefed up security at their airports after the events in Brussels.