Last week we decided to go to Frankfurt airport to receive a batch of Pakistanis coming to Germany. They had received the HEC scholarship for phd and were being sent in 3 groups. Two groups had their flights 4 hours apart and the third group was coming 3 days after them. We opted to receive the first group while others chose to receive the second group. We started our journey in the morning, reaching Frankfurt city in the afternoon and strolled to a Pakistani restaurant "Shahid ka Dhaba". There we were served delicious dishes with hot roti and lassi. Then we went to a Bengali mosque to pray and subsequently to a Pakistani sweet shop (Akmal). We bought freshly made "Gulab Jaman" and returned to the train station to catch a train to the airport. The flight was delayed half an hour. PIA was banned from Europe shortly but now was allowed to operate again. This time around, they probably didn't have flights to Frankfurt. So the students were flown to Milan, Italy. Then they were to reach Frankfurt through Al-Italia airline. When the scholars finally reached Frankfurt, they told a horrible story of their change-over. The luggage of some of them was placed in the next flight. So these people chose to stay and wait at the airport.
We came back after sending the scholars on their way to their respective cities. Some other Pakistanis were to receive the remaining scholars at night. One of them tells the story of reception like this:
"In the next flight 8 scholars were missing. They were supposed to spend night at Milan airport as they were not allowed to go out side the airport but I heard that then some Pakistani from tribal area helped them & they spent night at some hotel. They arrived then next day at 11:30 am & went to their cities. Two or three of them had lost their luggages. The students arriving with 10 pm flight were very upset & many of them had lost their luggage (as well). All the clothes & important things were missing. I helped them to claim the luggages & hope the airline will send them when they (are) found. This was really very bad & was due to the PIA & HEC officials. All have told all the story to Pakistani embassy & also to DAAD."
btw, a funny thing happened as well. One of the students gave me the telephone number of the hostel's manager where they were supposed to stay. I called there and asked if all of the 8 scholars of that city will stay with him. He sounded like a Turkish guy. After confirming, he asked me a question: "these people coming from Pakistan, are they some high officials or some ministers or something?" At my surprised answer that they were just students, he exclaimed: "You are the sixth person to call to inquire about them".