Saudi authorities arrest five Pakistanis for hooliganism at Masjid-e-Nabawi

April 29, 2022

Protesters on Thursday chanted slogans against members of PM Shehbaz Sharif's delegation at Masjid-e-Nabawi

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Picture collage of Marriyum Aurangzeb (left) and Shahzain Bugti during a visit to Masjid-e-Nabawi (PBUH) in Medina. — Screengrab from a video shared by Fawad Chaudhry on Twitter

MADINAH/KARACHI: At least five Pakistani nationals were arrested for “abusing and insulting” Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and Minister for Narcotics Control Shahzain Bugti at the Masjid-e-Nabawi (PBUH) in Madinah, confirmed the Saudi publication Saudi Gazette.

The publication said that the spokesperson of the Madinah Police has said that the suspects have been “referred to the competent authorities after legal procedures were completed against them”.

“Their actions contradict the sanctity of the place and impact the safety of visitors and worshipers,” said the spokesperson.

On Thursday some protesters, allegedly belonging to the PTI, violated the sanctity of the Masjid-e-Nabawi (PBUH) in Madinah on Thursday by loudly chanting slogans againstmember of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his delegation.

Earlier today, Director of information at the Saudia Arabia Embassy in Islamabad, had confirmed that some Pakistani nationals have been arrested for violating the sanctity of the Masjid-e-Nabawi and an investigation has been launched into the matter.

The official further added that the individuals were arrested after they violated the rules of the mosque.

At the time the Saudi official did not confirm the number of people that were arrested.

The incident

PM Shehbaz and his delegation had reached Saudi Arabia on Thursday for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Shahzain Bugti, Mohsin Dawar, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi, Chaudhry Salik, and four members of PM Shehbaz Sharif's staff are accompanying the prime minister on his visit.

But as Marriyum Aurangzeb and Shahzain Bugti arrived at the mosque, the protesters started chanting slogans of "chor, chor (thieves)" when they saw theme premier and harassed and raised objectionable slogans.

The protesters had also misbehaved with the JWP chief Shahzain Bugti and pulled his hair.

The protesters continued to film the entire episode with their mobile phones.

Commenting on the incident, Bugti said, "I respect Makkah and Medinah a lot and no one can speak in a loud voice there. Those who have passed derogatory remarks against Marriyum are still here, therefore, the news related to their arrest is fake".

Reacting to the unfortunate incident, Aurangzeb — without using Imran Khan's name but in an apparent reference to him, said: “I don’t want to name the person responsible for this incident because I don’t want to use this holy land for political purposes."

"However, it will take time for us to fix the ways in which these people have damaged our society and we can only do that through a positive attitude."

She further added that the PML-N leadership has instructed its workers to control their emotions.

Following the incident, political and religious leaders and people belonging to different sections of the society also expressed their outrage at the incident and strictly condemned the chanting of political slogans at the Masjid-e-Nabwi.

Pakistan to approach Saudi Arabia for action against Masjid-e-Nabawi slogan chanters

Earlier today,Interior Minister Rana Sanaullahhad announced that Pakistan would request Saudi Arabia to take action against those involved.

Addressing a press conference flanked by Adviser to Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira, Sanaullah warned PTI members of serious consequences and advised them “to stay within their limits”.

“If you want to fight with us, do democratically,” the interior minister had said, adding that boundaries shouldn’t be crossed while fighting democratically.

"Compete with us according to democratic norms if you want to but do not cross the limits," Sanaullah said.

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