Zaid Hamid arrested in Saudi Arabia

Published: June 26, 2015
PHOTO: Zaid Hamid's Pictorial Blog

PHOTO: Zaid Hamid's Pictorial Blog

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani analyst and commentator Zaid Hamid has been arrested in Saudi Arabia, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.

According to reports, Hamid was arrested during a private visit to the Kingdom with his wife. He was apparently taken into custody after making speeches against the Saudi government.

Read: Saudi Arabia condemns foreign criticism of blogger’s lashings

“Our embassy in Riyadh has informed us that Mr Zaid Hamid was arrested about two weeks ago. Since then, the embassy has been working with the local authorities to get consular access,” Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah told a news briefing in Islamabad.

“Due to the efforts of the embassy, his wife was able to talk to him. Again, due to the efforts of the embassy, his wife will be able to meet with him on 30 June,” he said without giving further details.

Read: Man in abaya arrested for ‘molesting women’ in Makkah mosque

In 2013, a former aide who left Hamid’s organisation accused him of being on the payrolls of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency to wage psychological operations against those opposed to the Pakistani security establishment.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Liberal
    Jun 26, 2015 - 1:15PM

    A day of celebration for the Indians.Recommend

  • Asad
    Jun 26, 2015 - 1:25PM

    In the meantime, Radio Pakistan transmission will be temporarily suspended from Delhi and Tel Aviv…Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    Jun 26, 2015 - 1:25PM

    What a loser. You can trace most conspiracy theories circulating in Pakistan this character. Like Axact, his sources of income need to be investigated. Recommend

  • Ug
    Jun 26, 2015 - 1:30PM

    I’m a big time hater of Zaid Hamid but his arrest I would say is not fair at all. Why is he arrested for saying something that he said in Pakistan? He did not break any of the Saudi laws inside Saudi territory. Nawaz govt and the establishment should make sure he returns home safely.Recommend

  • ravi
    Jun 26, 2015 - 1:33PM

    Isnt it an irony that he was arrested by Sauds, whom who you consider strongest brother or bonding. Spin doctors might have limited scope,

    Also its an irony that every year so many pakistanis are handed death sentence by beheading due to drug related cases.Recommend

  • anand singh
    Jun 26, 2015 - 1:45PM

    PS : Don’t miss his “Lawrence of Arabia” look in the picture !!Recommend

  • Fahim
    Jun 26, 2015 - 1:53PM

    we need guys like Zaid Hamid -> bad copRecommend

  • Muhammad Nadeem
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:01PM

    Its totally unjustified and illegal for Saudi Govt to arrest Zaid Hamid as its goes against all international norms, conventions and laws to arrest some other country’s citizen since he did not commit any crime on saudi soil, he is Paksitani Citizen and he can say anything about Damn Saudi’s and their government…..Recommend

  • Milind
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:02PM

    Good & Bad news… Bad news is we’ll miss out on his flights of fancy… Good news is he won’t be around to muddle the thought process of impressionable PakistanisRecommend

  • Shah(Berlin)
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:05PM


    “Also its an irony that every year so many pakistanis are handed death sentence by beheading due to drug related cases.”

    Wht is the irony? If some one does a criminal acts gets the required punishment…or is it different in iNDIARecommend

  • Tony Singh
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:06PM

    Too bad. We will miss his comedy on youtube :(. Lucky Kapil Sharma ( of Comedy nights with Kapil). NO competition for him for a while.Recommend

  • A J Khan
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:08PM

    Did Zaid Hamid make these speeches in Saudi Arabia or else where.
    If he has been arrested by Saudi Arabia for his expressions outside the Kimgdom, then it is tyranny of Saudi Arabia and uncalled for submission of Pakistan Government.Recommend

  • AlaskaRules
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:15PM

    Well, I will hold on to those celebrations till they behead him. But good start.Recommend

  • Raja Porus
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:22PM

    Mr. Zaid Hamid should be brought back to Pakistan in a dignified manner. You cannot be arrested in another country for saying something against that country in another country. This is ridiculous stone-age stuff by the Saudis.Recommend

  • Human
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:26PM

    few people consider ‘Sauds’ as their ‘strongest brother’…..u should stop commenting about Pakistan when u hardly know anything about itRecommend

  • mazhar abbas
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:27PM

    not fair at all… house of saud should sense the under currents … they cant change the perspectives ..Recommend

  • Hulchul
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:32PM

    This is old news. Don’t know why it was hushed up for a couple of weeks. I think the Saudis needed time to waterboard him. People like Zaid Hamid had it coming to them. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:33PM

    Today he has become irrelevant ? ……he simply overdid it, cutting his own feet.Recommend

  • Jun 26, 2015 - 2:49PM

    so sad news Recommend

  • Prada
    Jun 26, 2015 - 2:55PM

    Have to say I’ll miss him. He offered simple solutions to simple people. My favorite was how he was suggesting that Pakistan fire a missile that went across Israel and landed into the sea just as a warning to keep their hands off Palestine.
    I hope the Saudis let him go. He doesn’t have too many friends who will fight for his release. Will the agencies use what little influence they have over the Saudis?Recommend

  • Kalimullah
    Jun 26, 2015 - 4:08PM

    @Muhammad Nadeem:
    Abettors of crime need not have committed any offense in the land that they are charged. All that needs to be proven is that he ideologically influenced people to commit acts of violence. Zaid Hamid does not have a very good track record in this regard. Why he traveled abroad is a mystery to me. He was supposed to run a think-tank. Not much thinking must have gone into it.Recommend

  • Abdullah Dayo
    Jun 26, 2015 - 4:23PM

    So, Zaid Hamid is quoted as a “Pakistani Journalist” – who has given Express Tribune this authority to declare people like Zaid Hamid the Journalists. Shame for such poor reporting ET.Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jun 26, 2015 - 4:34PM

    @Ug: When you are in a foreign country, obey the laws of that particular country. Don’t give example that in Pakistan we are allowed to behave inappropriately, therefore we should be allowed to do so in other countries. Saudi Arabia is a country in which government takes miscreants very seriously. Also, there is only one government in Saudi Arabia, unlike our country where we have many governments. Abusing and insulting one government makes other government happy. Recommend

  • Luciferous
    Jun 26, 2015 - 6:23PM

    @Liberal: “A day of celebration for the Indians.”

    A day of celebration for every sane and sensible person.Recommend

  • Javed
    Jun 26, 2015 - 7:06PM

    Nawaz Shariff should give similar treatment to all loud mouth Insaafians.Recommend

  • shah
    Jun 26, 2015 - 7:09PM

    This guy was is an idiot.Recommend

  • Tabrej Ansari
    Jun 26, 2015 - 7:16PM

    I guess there is enough hatred breeding amoungst and thus we don’t need him.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Jun 26, 2015 - 7:31PM

    Heard on a Pakistani TV channel few days ago that Zaid Hamid could face 8 years imprisonment and also 1200 lashes. The TV anchor quoted NY times report. I haven’t read the NY times report. If I recall correct, the news anchor also said that Zaid Hamid was arrested in Saudi Arabia for making speech in Mecca against the Saudi monarch.

    I would miss him in TV channels and also his dummy in Khabarnaak. He talks fast but you can clearly understand every word he says. Recommend

  • ShamelessPakistanis
    Jun 26, 2015 - 9:27PM

    For all those people who were against Zaid Hamid, now what will you say? Still he was wrong? Saudia does not do anything without the approval of Israel & USA. Only time will tell. He was not one of those who were smuggling drugs.

    Whoever speaks against USA/Israel& Saudia will be in trouble. Recommend

  • bigsaf
    Jun 26, 2015 - 10:28PM

    8 years and lashes for simply publicly criticizing the Saudis! Even if he was insufferable and stupid to do it publicly there, they should have just ignored that crackpot like everyone does in Pak…so much for freedom of expression….Recommend

  • Arnab
    Jun 26, 2015 - 10:58PM

    Good riddance!!!Recommend

  • Jagit Singh
    Jun 26, 2015 - 11:08PM

    Ghawa – e – Hind! Now Zaid will experience “Ghazwa – e -Hind” during shower times in the Saudi prison!Recommend

  • Asif
    Jun 26, 2015 - 11:17PM

    @Muhammad Nadeem: You are not aware of Saudi Laws. No one is allowed to speak against the government and its considered blasphemy. So Mr. Ghazva-e-Hind is currently enjoying KFC in Saudi jail. Recommend

  • Bharat
    Jun 26, 2015 - 11:47PM

    India demands to allow Sir Zaid Hamid, a video conferencing facility from Jail. We want to hear his Muslim UMMA and Gazwa-e-hind theory from Saudi Jail again. If he has done some crime, his muslim biradar mulk has all the right to punish him But, Saudis have no right to snatch a most popular comedian from India.Recommend

  • Indian
    Jun 27, 2015 - 12:19AM

    For goats sake release this comedian, We are missing him, When no comedy nights with kapil I watch his videos. Dammmm hilarious and entertaining. Funny character.Recommend

  • Salman Ali
    Jun 27, 2015 - 12:22AM

    How dare Saudis arrest a mentally challenged insanely delusional hate mongering Pakistani idiot with grandiose Shizophrenia??Recommend

  • Zionist Hindu
    Jun 27, 2015 - 12:39AM

    This is what we call karma. Unconfirmed sources say he has been charged with blasphemy and will go to prison for 8 years and receive 1200 lashes per shariah law. The same law that he wants pakistan to have. And he was arrested not by Jews or US or Hindus, but the holiest of the unmah !! One wannabe Arab gets the true taste from the original Arabs. Recommend

  • Nasir Soomro
    Jun 27, 2015 - 1:50AM

    Its now Shahriah Court to decide fate of Zaid Hamid which he was in favour to function accordingly.Recommend

  • Brar
    Jun 27, 2015 - 2:02AM

    Now who will hoist Sabaz hilali parcham on Red fort Dehli and there is one Indian Zaid Hamid Dr. Parveen Togdia, I hate them both from the core of my heart, the enemies of peace who knows nothing except hatred.Recommend

  • Dishum
    Jun 27, 2015 - 2:12AM

    Hope he doesn’t lose his head…I mean keeps his cool. Lol.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Jun 27, 2015 - 2:26AM

    @A J Khan. Saudi Arabia is headed by terrorist of all terrorist. If a crow sings down with Saudi Arabia in Tanganyika they will send their Air force to kill the poor crow like Saudis are doing in Yemen walking on the path of Israel: Recommend

  • Ray
    Jun 27, 2015 - 4:53AM

    What an impotent and spineless Pakistani government. We may disagree with his views and love him or hate him as a person he shouldn’t be arrested a visitor of another country…so much for the UMA…Ugly Molesting Arabs.Recommend

  • Kumar
    Jun 27, 2015 - 5:48AM

    I would love to see him on TV after 8 years and 1200 lashes. Recommend

  • Babbarsher Khan
    Jun 27, 2015 - 7:22AM

    This chap has been terrorizing us on TV channels with his scream, mindless logic and demand for a fundamentalist military government for perpetuity in the land of pure. There is a possibility that he may end up being the cause of “the fall” of fundamentalist Al-Saud regime (pun intended).
    At the end, we should be grateful to Al-Sauds for liberating us, albeit temporarily, from his harangues; it was torture beyond comparison!Recommend

  • AK
    Jun 27, 2015 - 7:32AM

    It is lashes-e-behind for Zaid now.Recommend

    Jun 27, 2015 - 9:51AM

    pls, punishment should be Islamic way , the one zaid always fought forRecommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 27, 2015 - 9:58AM

    The Sharia Court must do the sentencing so that Mr Zaid Hamid is hoist on his own petard. A few lashes may be helpful in curbing the those wanting to follow his path. When is Hafiz Saeed traveling to Saudi Arabia ?Recommend

  • Virkaul
    Jun 27, 2015 - 10:20AM

    why? Was he your valuable asset?Recommend

  • ask
    Jun 27, 2015 - 10:38AM

    As a colourful character & an entertainer of the Subcontinent this man deserves all support from SAARC-countries to help him get his freedom..Recommend

  • Shakti
    Jun 27, 2015 - 11:01AM

    To think he was running a think tank! He is lucky he gets to keep his head. Saudis are not lenient when it comes to blasphemy. He got away easy.Recommend

  • amit lunia
    Jun 27, 2015 - 1:59PM

    Whatever idiocy he might have done , still you cant violate a man’s freedom of speech, he had come to Indian in 2013, nobody even arrested him , confronted him, accused him of any thing, though everybody new what he was

    This is what makes India what it is, even Geelani, et al prosper without fear ,Recommend

  • akki
    Jun 27, 2015 - 3:00PM

    @Tony Singh:
    Lets hope he comes back for your comfort and entertainment then !Recommend

  • AlaskaRules
    Jun 27, 2015 - 5:43PM

    “was”? Why the past tense? He hasn’t been beheaded yet.Recommend

  • jun
    Jun 27, 2015 - 8:30PM

    Had Saudis ever arrested any American,or westerner including their politicians who used bad languages against the Saudis in the name of free speech when they visit the kingdom?Of course never.No matter what,whether we are fund of Zaid or we hate him,he is Pakistani and he should be freed.What is this policy of Saudis disrespecting our people in this manner.I personally don’t agree with Zaid at all,but he is our national,and Pakistan Govt should immediately ask for his release.I am very much disturbed by this news.Now I hate these arrogant Saudis more.Recommend

  • Sad Indian
    Jun 28, 2015 - 6:31AM

    Will he be allowed to broadcast from prison? I miss him already. From now, who will give us all those outrageous conspiracy theories??Recommend

  • SEAsian
    Jun 28, 2015 - 12:22PM

    @jun: Saudis not raising their voice against the Americans is the same as Pakistan not objecting to anything China does. They banned fasting during Ramadan and prevented men with beards to use public transport. They held a beer festival in Muslim-majority region during Ramadan. Not so much as a whimper from Pakistan. Imagine if India had done these things.Recommend

  • not sorry
    Jun 28, 2015 - 1:33PM

    Assistant kazzab in Saudi custody. I think he will get a deserved treatment. Not here, never here. He was let go of, too easy – although we are the biggest ‘protector’ of Islam there is.
    Zaid has been abusing everyone among us who did not agree with his delusional logic. And he has been spitting at faces of government, military, judicial and civil agencies. WHY should now we even think of raising a voice for that venomous person?Recommend

  • S Shah
    Jun 28, 2015 - 6:32PM

    Gruß gott when you are living here in Deutschland as fake asylum seeker you know that Tode strafe ( Death sentence) is banned in EU plus many countries in the world except the die hard Islamic countries or who come under ISIS rule. In Hindustan death penalties are there but only on exceptional cases but still die hard criminals are hanged.Rest life term behind bars. You write du wohn in Berlin dann du wise auch sicher wiedersehen Tschüß. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jun 28, 2015 - 9:11PM

    Those behind Mr. Zaid’s confinement in the holy land need to immediately reconsider. Zaid is a patriotic Pakistani and must not be inconvenienced in any way.Recommend

  • Jai India
    Jun 30, 2015 - 12:00PM

    @Liberal: Indians are not at all happy.. He was a nice comedian and we miss him..

    I search for his name on you Youtube every day for new videos .. Hope he gets out alive from Saudi Arabia..Recommend

  • Javed Ali
    Jul 1, 2015 - 2:06AM

    Israelis, Hindus and Zionists proxy (Saudi govt.) all afraid of a single man Zaid Hamid. Momin's azan can shake the whole world. So true!
    I salute Sir Zaid Hamid for having courage to speak the truth without any fear of consequences.
    Watch out Hindus Pakistan is coming !

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