ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: As many as 4,637 Pakistani prisoners abroad were released and repatriated from September 2018 to September 2019, the National Assembly was told.
To a question by Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal Pakistan (MMAP), the Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the House in a written reply that currently there are 10,289 Pakistani prisoners imprisoned in jails of different Countries.
Qureshi told that in line with the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directives, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is actively working to enhance consular facilities in all Missions.
The foreign minister said that efforts are underway to facilitate release and repatriation of Pakistanis imprisoned abroad.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi told that during the last one year, due to increased diplomatic efforts, Pakistan was able to get back 4,637 prisoners detained abroad, and out of which, 1,594 prisoners were released from Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, he added that, 53 prisoners released from Qatar and 1,873 from United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been repatriated through our Missions.
Two Pakistani sailors arrested in Nigeria, confirms Qureshi
In reply to another question by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Saad Waseem, the foreign minister confirmed that two Pakistani sailors namely Captain Muhammad Naseer Khan and Muhammad Ejaz were arrested along with sailors of other nationalities by the Nigerian authorities for their alleged involvement in illegal smuggling of crude oil about two year ago.
The minister told that the concerned Mission is in contact with the sailors and regularly provides them funds for food and medicine. He added that their case is subjudice in the Nigerian Court of Law, and the lawyer of sailors is pursuing their case.
Furthermore, he told that the Federal Ministry of Justice of Nigeria was requested by the Mission to assist in the release of the two Pakistanis. He said that Nigerian Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami has informed that since the matter is subjudice in the Court, therefore, neither the Presidential Committee on Prisons Reforms and Decongestion nor the Federal Ministry of Justice can intervene in the matter.