Remaining 23 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi Arabia to be repatriated soon: FO

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ISLAMABAD: After 65 Pakistani prisoners were successfully brought back from Saudi Arabia, the federal government has announced that it is working to bring the remaining 23 prisoners back to the country, according to Foreign Office.

“As directed by the Prime Minister, we have so far repatriated 62 individuals out of total 85, so that they could celebrate Eid with their families in Pakistan. Remaining 23 will be repatriated as soon as their exit visa process is completed”, FO Spokesperson said in statement.

The Spokesperson giving details said that “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.”

“Upon Pakistan’s request, a high-powered committee of Saudi authorities carried out a detailed review of Pakistanis imprisoned in Riyadh region and waived off sentences of 85 individuals”, the spokesman added.

He further said that upon waiver of sentences, the Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh closely liaised with the relevant Saudi authorities to secure exit visas of these released individuals.

“We are grateful to His Majesty, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for facilitating the Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia”, the Spokesperson concluded.

Earlier on Tuesday, 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.

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.