ISLAMABAD: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs apprised a committee of the National Assembly on Wednesday, around 579 Pakistani prisoners have been freed from the jails of Saudi Arabia since Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan in this year.
Foreign ministry’s Director General (Middle East) Syed Zahid Raza informed the sub-committee of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistani and Human Resource Development that these detainees were released from Saudi jails under the royal pardon granted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
The sub-committee was latterly established with the command to secure the prerequisite of legal assistance to under-trial Pakistani prisoners abroad.
The sub-committee, headed by Dr. Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto, was informed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coupled with other departments concerned was in contact with authorities in Saudi Arabia (KSA) for the immediate repatriation of the left prisoners whose release was commanded by the Saudi crown prince on the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Dr. Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto directed officials of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development and Foreign Office to organize a meeting of Saudi ambassador with the board members so that they could beseech him for the immediate liberation of the left prisoners in Saudi Arabia.
Foreign ministry’s Director General (Middle East) Syed Zahid Raza affirmed that the ministry would assist in organizing the meeting with the committee staff.
The committee also inquired details of the Pakistanis confined in Oman to develop a pragmatic strategy in order to give them legal assistance.
Director General Syed Zahid Raza apprised the panel that there were around 3,000 persons under confinement in Oman’s detention center for possessing fraudulent travel documents and immigrating illegally, continuing that many of them only feigned to be Pakistani citizens.
Zahid Raza asserted that the details of detained Pakistanis are shared with Pakistanis by Oman and interior ministry is verifying their addresses, which shall take some time.
Foreign ministry’s Director General (Middle East) Syed Zahid Raza, nonetheless, confirmed the committee that thorough details of all those in jail would be distributed in the next meeting.
National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistani and Human Resource Development also took the complaint to the recorded association of some Pakistanis in trans-border drug dealing and assembled officials of the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the subsequent meeting to review the matter holistically.
The relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan stood cordial since the inception of Pakistan on the map of the world. Saudi stood for Pakistan at every juncture and, so did Pakistan. Ever since the reign of Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has witnessed drastic changes, allowing women to drive and ending the “Hijab” and opening of a nightclub in KSA are some of them.
Despite some good efforts of Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the prince is ridiculed for Khashoggi’s murder and deepening relations with the US. However, for Pakistan, releasing of 570 prisoners is a good gesture of the crown prince. The request of Pakistani Prime Minister has been acknowledged and the credit goes to both the leaders.