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Pakistan

Government confirms release of another 1100 Pakistani prisoners from Saudi jails

  • Pakistan's Interior Minister says Saudi Arabia has also agreed to release Pakistanis imprisoned for serious crimes as the inmates have already served a large part of their sentence
  • At least 30 Pakistanis imprisoned for murder and drug offenses in Saudi jails cannot be released: Rashid
Updated 10 May 2021

(Karachi) Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that 1,100 Pakistani prisoners languishing in Saudi Arabia jails are being released as both countries have inked agreements over the matter during Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the Kingdom, local media reported on Monday.

Sheikh Rashid said that Saudi Arabia has also agreed to release Pakistanis imprisoned for serious crimes as the inmates have already served a large part of their sentence.

He maintained that hundreds of more prisoners who have to pay small fines could be released from Saudi jails if aid worth Rs1 billion is received. He, however, stated that cases of Pakistani prisoners involved in serious crimes will be dealt with separately.

The interior minister mentioned that 30 Pakistanis are imprisoned for murder and drug offenses in Saudi jails and cannot be released. These 30 Pakistani prisoners have been sentenced to death by a Saudi court, he said.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement on the transfer of convicted prisoners during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s three-day visit to Saudi Arabia.

The two countries also inked MoUs on the establishment of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC), addressing the treatment of criminals, and crime.

They also agreed on combating drug trafficking; as well as financing energy, infrastructure, transportation, water, and communications projects.

Last year, the Saudi government released 2080 Pakistani prisoners as part of an agreement with the Pakistani government. These prisoners were involved in crimes like forgery, theft, bribery and illegal bordering crossing.

During Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to Pakistan in 2019, he had announced the release of 2,100 Pakistani prisoners.