Saudi Arabia freed 1,245 Pakistani prisoners in one year — Zulfi Bukhari

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman and Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan at a banquet held in the crown prince's honor in Islamabad Feb 17, 2019. (SPA/File)
Updated 01 November 2019

Saudi Arabia freed 1,245 Pakistani prisoners in one year — Zulfi Bukhari

  • PM’s advisor on overseas Pakistanis says 2,559 of 6,880 Pakistanis imprisoned in Gulf countries freed this year
  • Around 3,400 deported from several Saudi cities also released from deportation camps since February this year

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia released 1,245 Pakistani prisoners from its jails this year while representatives from Pakistan are in touch with the Saudi government for the release of remaining prisoners, the prime minister’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis said on Thursday.
In February, Pakistan’s information ministry announced that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the release of about 2,100 Pakistani prisoners from the kingdom’s jails during a high-profile visit to Islamabad that month. The announcement came after a special request to the crown prince by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.




A general view of Ha'er Prison in Saudi Arabia July 6, 2015. (REUTERS/File)

“Along with 1,245 prisoners released from Saudi jails, approximately 3,400 deported from Makkah, Riyadh, Dammam, Tabuk and other Saudi cities have also been released from deportation camps since the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman,” Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari told Arab News in an interview in Islamabad.
According to an official count, more than 3,300 Pakistani prisoners are currently jailed in Saudi Arabia.
Bukhari said in the last year, the government had succeeded in getting 2,559 Pakistani prisoners freed out of a total of 6,880 imprisoned in Gulf countries.
Giving a breakdown of the last 12 months, Bukhari said Pakistan had secured the release of 1,245 Pakistani prisoners out of 3,303 jailed in Saudi Arabia, 1,200 out of 2,521 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 55 out of 592 in Oman, 18 out of 118 in Kuwait, 17 out of 144 in Bahrain, 14 out of 106 in Qatar and 10 out of 96 in Iraq.
Most Pakistanis are in detention in the Gulf for forgery, drug trafficking, illegal border crossing, theft, pick pocketing and bribery. Most of those released had been sentenced to 1-5 years in prison.
Bukhari said the Saudi government was fulfilling its promise for the speedy recovery of prisoners but there was a problem of devising the correct mechanism: “They [Pakistanis imprisoned in Saudi Arabia] include those also who are deported while what our Prime Minister asked from Saudi Crown Prince was for those prisoners who are in jails for different crimes.”
“We are thankful to Saudi government for the release of such a good number of prisoners, which are approximately 38 percent of the total, and that also during one year,” Bukhari said. “We hope that the ongoing process would result in the release of more prisoners in the remaining two months of the year.”
He said relevant Pakistani ministries were working closely to make this possible.
“Ministry of foreign affairs is leading this effort while interior and overseas Pakistani’s ministries are working closely with them to provide relief to expats,” the minister said.


Pakistan’s religious personalities visit Islamic University in Madinah

Updated 14 November 2019

Pakistan’s religious personalities visit Islamic University in Madinah

  • Dr. Sajid Mir lauded the role played by the Islamic University in Madinah
  • According to statistics, more than 1500 Pakistanis have graduated from the Saudi education institute

ISLAMABAD: A delegation of Pakistan’s known religious personalities, headed by Chief of Ahl Al-Hadith Central Society Dr. Sajid Mir, met Dr. Abdullah Al-Otaibi, Acting Rector of the Islamic University in Madinah, on Thursday, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Leader of Pakistan’s Ahl Al-Hadith Central Society Dr. Sajid Mir and his delegation members met Dr. Abdullah Al-Otaibi, Acting Rector of the Islamic University in Madinah, on November 14, 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Islamic University in Madinah)

The participants discussed matters related to the common interest.

Mir praised the Islamic University for providing Muslim educational opportunities and teaching them Arabic.

Leader of Pakistan’s Ahl Al-Hadith Central Society Dr. Sajid Mir met Dr. Abdullah Al-Otaibi, Acting Rector of the Islamic University in Madinah, on November 14, 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Islamic University in Madinah)

Statistics reveal that more than 350 Pakistani students are enrolled in the Islamic University in Madinah while about 1560 Pakistanis have graduated from the education institute.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia announced 583 fully-funded scholarships for Pakistani students at 23 leading universities in the Kingdom.