ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia is said to have agreed to extend Pakistani passports to thousands of Burmese Muslims residing in Saudi Arabia on the request of Islamabad made during the recent visit of Saudi Deputy Interior Minister, well informed sources told Business Recorder.
On May 19, 2023, during the federal cabinet meeting, Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah Khan conveyed the profound thanks of the Deputy Interior Minister, on behalf of the Saudi Government, to the Prime Minister and the Government of Pakistan for agreeing to renew the passports of Burmese Muslims residing in Saudi Arabia.
It was informed that on the request of Saudi government in the past, Pakistani passports were issued to Burmese Muslims to give them a legal status in Saudi Arabia but these were not renewed after 2012, which created difficulties for them in the Kingdom.
Endorsing the goodwill gesture, a member cautioned the Interior Division to ensure that these Burmese Muslims and their children were not deported to Pakistan in future.
Prime Minister also noted that he and the Iranian president co-inaugurated a joint border market and an electricity transmission line adding that the Mand-Pashin Border sustenance Marketplace would bolster cross-border trade between the two neighbouring counties and provide opportunities for local businesses to flourish.
The 100-MW transmission line to Gwadar would supplement the electricity already purchased from Iran and help offset energy needs of Balochistan’s border regions.
The Prime Minister lamented the delay caused by the previous government, which had kept the project on the backburner. He said now it had been completed on a fast-track basis and would be the harbinger of tremendous socioeconomic benefits to the people of the area.
Referring to his meeting on the sidelines of the event with the Iranian President, the Prime Minister shared the resolve of the two leaders to enhance bilateral trade and multi-sectoral cooperation commensurate with the close fraternal ties between the two neighbouring countries.
It was also agreed that the peace and security at the Pak-Iran border would be jointly ensured. In this regard a Pakistani delegation, led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, would visit Iran soon to finalize an action plan.
A member drew attention to the difficulties being faced by Zaireen intending to visit Iran and Iraq, in matters related to visas, which needed to be taken up at the bilateral level. The Minister for Interior apprised that the Iraqi Interior Minister would be visiting Pakistan soon to sign a MoU in this regard.
He further apprised that the Saudi Deputy Interior Minister recently visited Pakistan and signed an agreement on execution of the Road to Makkah, a project aimed at simplifying the immigration process at the embarkation stage for pilgrims intending to perform Hajj and Umrah.
As per the accord, in the first phase, the services would be available at Islamabad airport and will be extended to Karachi and Lahore airports by next year. The members desired a detailed presentation on the Road to Makkah project in the next Cabinet meeting.
The members also discussed the recent wide circulation of controversial audios, which had been witnessed on national electronic, print and social media, allegedly regarding the Judiciary and former chief Justices/ certain Judges, whereby alleged conversations raised serious apprehensions about the conduct of a few belonging to the higher judiciary pertaining to the administration of justice.
The members opined that such audio leaks had eroded public trust and serious concerns had been raised by the general public regarding independence, impartiality and uprightness of the chief justices/ some judges of the superior courts.
It was observed that under the constitution of Pakistan, the independence, integrity and character of chief justices/ judges is of utmost importance for keeping the public trust and confidence in the administration of justice.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023