ISLAMABAD: Recently ratified agreements will help Pakistan and Saudi Arabia streamline the transfer of prisoners and measures to counter human and drug trafficking, Pakistani officials said on Wednesday.
The treaties were signed during Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the kingdom in May last year. Saudi Arabia's cabinet approved the bills during a session chaired by King Salman on Tuesday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
"The agreements will play a significant role in streamlining issues related to transfer of convicted individuals, and drug trafficking," Aimen Nadeem, the spokesperson of the Pakistani embassy in Riyadh, told Arab News.
The Pakistani prime minister's special adviser on the Middle East, Tahir Ashrafi, said it was a "very welcoming and positive development."
"We are thankful to Saudi King and the cabinet for this,” he told Arab News.
Ashrafi said the treaty on trafficking will "enhance and strengthen Pakistan, Saudi Arabia cooperation in controlling illicit human and drug trafficking."
The treaty on prisoner transfer will allow individuals convicted in Saudi Arabia to complete their jail terms at home.
"They can spend their jail terms inside Pakistan," Ashrafi said, adding that the development was also awaited by the Pakistani diaspora in the kingdom.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy deep-rooted strategic ties. Around 2.5 million Pakistani expats are living in the kingdom, and are the biggest single source of foreign remittances to the South Asian nation.
"Both countries have increased bilateral cooperation and engagements in many fields recently," Ashrafi said.
"A Saudi delegation is visiting Pakistan to enhance cooperation in green and clean environment projects. Similarly, a Pakistani delegation is visiting Saudi Arabia nowadays"