62 prisoners released from Saudi Arabia arrive in Pakistan

The 62 Pakistani prisoners on their return to their homeland from Saudi Arabia. Source: Twitter.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan brought repatriated 62 prisoners from Saudi Arabia ahead of Eid-ul-Azha after the government made special arrangements for them.

In a message on Twitter, the prime minister said that upon his instructions, special flight brought back 62 prisoners, released from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ahead of Eid-ul- Azha. He said the government was committed to help Pakistani prisoners abroad and assist in their repatriation to Pakistan.

“On my instructions, funds were arranged & a special flight brought back 62 prisoners from KSA today, so they could be back with their families for Eid. Helping Pakistanis in prisons abroad & assisting in their return to Pakistan is my govt’s commitment to our people,” the prime minister posted.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry 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 said.

Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) Managing Director Dr Amer Sheikh received the freed persons at Islamabad’s airport along with senior officials of the organization and Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OPHRD).

The arrival lobby of IIA echoed with ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans, chanted by the released prisoners, expressing gratitude to the incumbent government for their remarkable efforts in that regard.

According to the OPF spokesman, the prison sentence of these Pakistani prisoners, who were detained on minor drug-related cases in Riyadh, was waived off by the Saudi authorities on orders of its King Salman and due to persistent efforts of Pakistan Mission, Riyadh, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and OPHRD, and others.

He said top priority was being accorded to overseas Pakistanis in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding all possible efforts were being made to provide maximum facilities to expatriates and their dependents.

He termed Pakistani expatriates as roaming ambassadors and an asset of the country. He said that OPF was providing services for overseas Pakistanis and their dependents in different walks of life, besides making sure swift resolution of their issues and problems.

On the occasion, the Pakistani expatriates expressed their gratitude to Saudi government and Prime Minister Imran Khan for their repatriation.

In May this year, PM Imran Khan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman 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 several others. An agreement for the exchange of convicted prisoners was also signed between the two countries besides another agreement to counter the crimes.