Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered the immediate release of over 2,000 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi jails, Pakistan's information minister Fawad Chaudry was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at a ceremony held to welcome the Saudi crown prince at PM house on 17 February had reportedly made a special request to the prince on releasing the Pakistani prisoners.
“We cannot say no to Pakistan, whatever we can do, we will deliver that,” said the crown prince, who has been bestowed Pakistan’s highest civil award — Nishan-e-Pakistan — for his “outstanding support for reinvigorating Pak-Saudi bilateral relationship,” according to the HT report.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had told him that the prisoners were mostly poor labourers who had no real legal recourse. A large number of Pakistanis travel to the Middle East every year, with many working on construction sites or as domestic helpers.
Information Minister Chaudry in a tweet said: “As a sequel to Prime Minister of Pakistan’s request, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of KSA Mohammad Bin Salman has ordered the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners from Saudi Jails.” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also noted that the crown prince had “graciously agreed” to free the Pakistani prisoners “with immediate effect”.
“Cases of the remaining will be reviewed,” he announced.
The Saudi crown prince had arrived in Pakistan on Sunday on a two-day visit. He will also visit India and China.
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