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579 Pakistani Prisoners Released from Saudi Arabia

A huge number of our Pakistani fraternity abroad is in prison without any legal access to get free and return to their homeland. Prime Minister Imran Khan shed light on the concerning issue to release prisoners.

Who did the Prime Minister request mercy?

Earlier this year, His Royal Highness Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz came on a short 2 day trip to Pakistan and meet with the officials of the country. During the visit on the request of Imran Khan, the HRH announced the immediate release of about 2,107 Pakistani prisoners from Saudi Jails.

What did the Foreign Minister remark?

The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted and expressed his thoughts saying,

CROWN PRINCE MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN HAS GRACIOUSLY AGREED TO FREE 2,107 PAKISTANI PRISONERS IN SAUDI ARABIA WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT, CASES OF THE REMAINING WILL BE REVIEWED. PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN THANK HRH FOR RESPONDING IMMEDIATELY TO PRIME MINISTER IMRAN KHAN’S REQUEST.

What did Fawad Chaudry say on the royal pardon?

The Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that,

“As a sequel to the prime minister of Pakistan’s request, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of KSA Mohammed Bin Salman has ordered the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners Saudi Jails.”

Why Pakistanis go abroad?

Pakistan is a developing country with a lack of resources to provide its graduates with a source of income. Many hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis usually go to the Middle East in search of jobs. Read more: Pakistani Hajj & Umrah Pilgrims must submit their Biometrics before travel to Saudi Arabia

Unfortunately, they are settled there with working at construction sites as labours. However, their remittances to Pakistan are a major section of our economy.

Why they are jailed?

Due to the low income, they often can’t afford the high visa or travel access and prefer to go illegally and settle there. When police raids such people come under attack and are jailed.

Poor economic conditions don’t let them have legal access to get free. Even if jailed for minor issues they remain in jails for many years. Read more: 6 Pakistanis, Including 4 of a Family, Killed in UAE Villa Fire

How many prisoners have been released?

Speaking to Arab News, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki told that almost 579 prisoners have been released and went back to their homeland in accordance to the HRH Salman Bin Abdul Aziz royal pardon.

He further told the media that almost 3,212 Pakistani prisoners have been sent by their airports in 2019. Read more: Pakistani Hero Sacrificed his Life to Stop Christchurch Shooter

What does Interior Minister say on the process?

The Interior Minister of Pakistan, Brig. (r) Ijaz Ahmed Shah told the media regarding the process of release and bringing back prisoners as a smooth and seamless process. He commented,

“There was no problem in bringing those prisoners back who are released by Saudi Arabia after Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s Pakistan visit, It is a very difficult proposition to ascertain the identity of those people who travelled to the kingdom on fake documents. If we are certain that he is Pakistani then we immediately send the aircraft and bring them back.”

What is the total amount of prisoners?

According to the official count, almost 3,400 Pakistanis are in Saudi jails for various minor issues and need for legal assistance. However, 1,619 cases of Pakistani prisoners involve separate hearing because of their involvement in drug trafficking, use and promotion of drugs, theft, forgery, robbery, moral or ethical wrongdoings etc.

Does any committee formed for this issue?

A sub-committee of the National Assembly standing committee for Foreign Affairs and Human Resource Development is formed recently to address the issues of Pakistanis jailed in foreign countries and assist them legally.

The Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for Middle East Syed Zahid Raza told the sub-committee about the release of 579 prisoners back home.

What did the chairman of sub-committee assure?

The chairman of the sub-committee Dr Mehreen Razzaq Bhutto assured that the Foreign Affairs Ministry and other related departments are continuously in contact with the departments of Saudi Arabia for the early release of the prisoners under the royal pardon.

What did Bhutto request?

Dr Mehreen requested the official members of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development and Foreign Office to arrange a meeting of the committee members with the Saudi ambassador so they can ask him in person for the early release of their countrymen.

Did Zahid Raza act upon any request?

The Saudi ambassador assured to help in arranging a meeting of the officials with the committee members. However, the committee has also worked on releasing prisoners from the Oman jail.

How many prisoners are in Oman jail?

According to the official collection, around 3,000 Pakistanis are in Oman detention centre due to fake travel documents, illegal migration even some only pretend to be Pakistanis.

Is something happening for them?

The details are given by the Oman concerned departments to the Interior Minister to verify their addresses if found Pakistanis. The complete data will be presented to the committee in the next meeting according to the DG.

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Source: Khaleej Times/ Arab News

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