Wednesday Jul 21, 2021
After 65 Pakistani prisoners were successfully brought back from Saudi Arabia ahead of Eid ul Adha, the government announced that it is working to bring 23 more prisoners back to the country, a statement released by the Foreign Office said Wednesday.
“In line with the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh had been in contact with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to coordinate early release and repatriation of those Pakistani nationals who are serving their sentences abroad for minor offences," the statement read.
Upon Pakistan’s request, a high-powered committee of Saudi authorities carried out a detailed review of Pakistanis imprisoned in the Riyadh region and waived off sentences of 85 individuals.
Upon waiver of sentences, the Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh closely liaised with the relevant Saudi authorities to secure exit visas for these released individuals.
"As directed by the Prime Minister, we have so far repatriated 62 individuals out of a total of 85, so that they could celebrate Eid with their families in Pakistan. The remaining 23 will be repatriated as soon as their exit visa process is completed," the statement said.
The Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh is in process of coordinating similar repatriation from other regions of Saudi Arabia as well.
"We are grateful to King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for facilitating the Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia," the statement concluded.
A day ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced the successful repatriation of 65 prisoners from Saudi Arabia.
"On my instructions, funds were arranged, and a special flight brought back 62 prisoners from KSA today, so they could be back with their families for Eid," the premier had said in a tweet.
"Helping Pakistanis in prisons abroad and assisting in their return to Pakistan is my government's commitment to our people," PM Imran Khan had said.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, lauding the premier, said no other government had shown compassion for overseas Pakistanis like PM Imran Khan.
"The joy of [these] families is due to the prime minister's efforts. Thousands of Pakistanis who were facing issues abroad have been brought back," he had said.
In May, PM Imran Khan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz had held delegation-level talks to discuss bilateral ties and ways to further strengthen cooperation.
During the meeting, the two countries had also signed multiple agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, media, prisoners exchange, and others.
An agreement for the exchange of convicted prisoners was also signed between the two countries besides another agreement to counter the crimes.