Three Pakistanis on death row: Senate panel asks Saudi Arabia to stay execution

Published: April 17, 2011

Prisoners being held despite paying Rs4 million in diyat.

ISLAMABAD: 

The Senate standing committee on interior has asked Saudi Arabia not to execute three Pakistani nationals on death row until the conclusion of negotiations for their release through diplomatic channels.

Committee members directed the Foreign Office to summon the Saudi Ambassador to express its concerns over the issue. They lambasted embassy officials in Saudi Arabia for their indifference. “Premier Gilani should fire the vice councillor for dereliction of duty,” demanded Senator Raziq Khan.

It is the first time that the Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Aziz bin Ibrahim al Ghadeer will be summoned by the foreign office to explain his government’s stance on the impending death sentence for the prisoners. Committee Chairman Senator Talha Mehmood has also asked the Foreign Office to convey its concerns about Pakistanis languishing in Saudi prisons for decades. He has asked Additional Secretary Middle East, Muhammad Aslam to submit his report to the committee within two days.

The Senate committee has advised the Foreign Office to take up the cases of other Pakistanis imprisoned in Saudi Arabia and has asked for case details by the end of this month. In view of the close ties shared by the two countries, ‘Saudi Arabia should not treat imprisoned Pakistanis like animals,’ he said.

The Senate panel was informed that three Pakistanis have been awarded the death sentence after they had paid Rs4 million in diyat to the bereaved families and sent a copy of the agreement to Saudi authorities. Rahmul Wahab, Abdul Rahman and Bashir Afridi were charged for the murder of two Indonesian women and a Pakistani citizen in Saudi Arabia in 1999. The committee summoned Pakistan’s Vice Councilor to Jeddah, Muhammad Nasrullah and asked him to take up the issue with Saudi officials.

The convicts’ families informed the committee that Saudi authorities initially accepted the terms of the agreement but the court later disregarded them and converted their imprisonment into the death sentence. They wrote to the PM, the Foreign Office and Saudi officials but no one has taken up their case.

The three prisoners have spent 12 years in confinement, but the allegations against them have yet to be proven in a court of law. Khan informed the House that the Saudi police has been brutally torturing them for years. There is a strong possibility that the local police may behead these prisoners any time.

The senate body has constituted a sub-committee to monitor any progress in the case of the three prisoners. The lawmakers have warned of a protest in front of the Saudi Embassy if its officials fail to address the issue.

The committee also discussed the procurement by the Frontier Corps (FC) stationed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the last three years. FC officials informed the Committee that they purchased physical assets to fulfill requirements during the last three years. It has directed Col Ijaz to appear with the head of operations and the relevant record in the next meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2011.

Reader Comments (10)

  • sandy
    Apr 17, 2011 - 9:57AM

    Had this been in US or India, paki military, ISI and mullah brigade would have launched a war b this time. This shows the double face of pak as well as proves who is the real master Recommend

  • Apr 17, 2011 - 1:20PM

    I can imagine the average Saudi’s reaction: “There are too many Pakistanis (180 million), so killing three of them won’t make much of a difference!”Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 17, 2011 - 3:11PM

    As if the saudis will give a toss about what Pak Senate asks for!!!!!
    These are the Muslim brothers that pakistan often refers too! Lets see if they listen to you pleas!Recommend

  • Faizan
    Apr 17, 2011 - 5:19PM

    You dont know the Saudis have taken over the Islam, the Pakistan must disclose all the facts to the Saudi Govt that when they have undergone 12 years imprisonment and have also paid Diyat, then there is no question of execution. Recommend

  • Apr 17, 2011 - 9:56PM

    I am a Pakistani living in Saudi Arabia. Here the laws will not protect the innocent immigrants. The trial is held in a routine manner and punishment is awarded without the strength of the case. Severe punishments are given especially if the accused are foreigners from poor nations like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh etc. Except oil, there is neither humanity nor a respectable cultural society in Saudi Arabia. Sleeping full day time and eating throughout the night during Ramadan is unbearable to the immigrants like us. Domestic workers are treated like animals or slaves.Recommend

  • john
    Apr 18, 2011 - 12:54AM

    i perfectly agree with ghouse basha.. i worked in saudi for 2 years and i saw the same thing.. Sometimes i even wonder what kind of islam they follow..Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Apr 18, 2011 - 1:15AM

    Our Foreign Office must immediately summon the Saudi Ambassador and get these Pakistanis released from the Jail. Show courage as we do against USA, EU, India and Israel. Where is our ghairat brigade which comes out on dubious issues. According to the report all formalities have been completed. We were quick to release Raymond Davis according to Sharia laws (though rightists are still beating drums) so where are these of different “Itihads”.Recommend

  • shahjehan
    Apr 18, 2011 - 2:16AM

    plz let them free.Recommend

  • shahjehan
    Apr 18, 2011 - 2:17AM

    they are innocent. Recommend

  • naseem ali
    Apr 18, 2011 - 3:43AM

    i am pakistani from nwfp from dara adam khal i know those 3 persnol belive me thay r very very poor and good people the r not kill any one i know this the sold there homes the sold there flieds the sold there gold and give give gold to the victim than y saudi arab gornamnent does not accpet that if tha r muslimRecommend

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