A family from Birmingham who went to Pakistan for a wedding have been stranded in for almost a month
Razia Hadait went to Mirpur in Kashmir in February for her son’s wedding and was due to fly back on March 27
But days before their return journey with Emirates, the country was placed under a strict lockdown and all flights were cancelled.
Mrs Hadait, 56, with her husband, their 22-year old daughter and two sons aged 32 and 35 and her sister said the family had received no practical help despite repeated pleas.
They claimed flights home would cost almost £5,000 and alleged fare prices had been increased, while they were running out of cash.
Mrs Hadait, born in Britain said her family was “scared”.
“It’s very stressful,” she said. “Temperatures are rising. We are going to struggle and we can’t access money because everything is closed.
“There’s six of us, we are going to pay nearly £5,000, we can’t get anyone to send money and the exchanges are closed. My husband, son and I all run our own businesses and this is really worrying.
“Our cars are also on the road and bills are piling up at home.
“My daughter is doing her masters and this is impacting her studies. We have two cats too which my brother in law and neighbour have been feeding.
“We are in a no-win situation.”
Mrs Hadait is managing director of a company which supports the families of offenders. The wedding took place on March 8 but a lockdown was imposed and flights cancelled before they could return home.
She said: “We are only allowed to go to shops for food and you can’t have more than two people in a car. Everything closed, the only things that are open are banks and food shops.”
Mrs Hadait, who is staying with her in-laws, said her family was forced to “sit and wait” while they tried to get answers.
Using a patchy internet connection, they contacted Emirates, the Pakistani Commissioner, Birmingham MPs and others telling them of their plight.
She said: “We were told to contact our travel agent who is also stuck in Pakistan. Now we are waiting to find out about the next available flights after April 21.
“It could be May.
“We want the authorities to bring us home and stop these airlines charging these extortionate prices.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it had helped more than 6000 people return from Pakistan, with the most vulnerable prioritised, on 17 commercial flights operated by Pakistan International Airlines.
A spokesperson said: “We know it’s a difficult time for many British travellers abroad – especially those with challenging circumstances.
“Our consular teams are doing everything they can, especially for those in difficulty, to keep Brits informed on the latest developments and help them return – on commercial flights where they are still available or special charter flights as well.
“We’ll continue working around-the-clock to bring people home.”