1,100 Pakistani prisoners in KSA being repatriated, says Rashid

Says repatriation part of MoU signed during PM's visit; can repatriate hundreds more if given aid to pay off fine


News Desk May 10, 2021

JEDDAH:

Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid said on Monday that 1,100 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi Arabia were being repatriated to Pakistan.

According to the minister, the prisoners were being released as part of the agreements signed during Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to the kingdom.

The interior minister's remarks came during an interview with Urdu News in Jeddah on Sunday.

He added that the prisoners in question have completed most of their sentence.

"We are ready to repatriate Pakistani prisoners jailed in Saudi Arabia who are not convicted of crimes of serious nature," Rashid maintained.

He went on to add that, "We can get hundreds more freed if we can get an aid of one billion rupees [to pay off their fine]."

Read PM Imran's visit to KSA highly productive: FM Qureshi

"There are 30 Pakistani prisoners sentenced to death for murder and drug trafficking; they cannot be repatriated," the minister said.

He added that the cases of those involved in heinous crimes will be dealt separately.

When asked about the schedule of repatriation, Rashid said, "Consider the whole process completed. It will be implemented as soon as possible."

"The families of those being transferred to Pakistani jails will be able to look after them, while there is no one to look after them here [in KSA]".

"We are already coordinating [with Saudi Arabia] on eliminating crimes and we will continue to do so," the minister concluded.

The visit of the premier witnessed the signing of a number of bilateral agreements/Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), including Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Combating Crimes; Agreement on Transfer of Convicted Individuals (Prisoners); MoU on Combating Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs; Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals; and Framework MoU for the financing of projects (totalling up to $500 million) in energy, hydropower generation, infrastructure, transport and communication and water resource development.

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