4,637 Pakistani prisoners released from foreign jails in PTI government, NA told

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday told the National Assembly that 4,637 Pakistani prisoners languishing in Jails of 23 Countries had been released in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

In a written reply to a question by Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) lawmaker Shazia Marri, the foreign minister told the House that during the tenure of the incumbent government, 4,637 Pakistani prisoners abroad were released from September 2018 to September 2019 and repatriated.

The foreign minister told that during last one year, due to increased diplomatic efforts, Pakistan was able to get back 4,637 prisoners detained abroad.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi told that out of which, 1,594 prisoners were released from Saudi Arabia, adding that this number includes prisoners, who were released under royal clemency, as announced by the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman during his visit to Pakistan in February 2019.

Similarly, 53 prisoners released from Qatar and 1,873 from United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been repatriated through our Missions. Therefore, he added, that the claim that Pakistan could not get back Pakistani prisoners as announced on different occasions is not factually correct.

It’s worth noting that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman paid a two-day state visit to Pakistan on February 17-18, 2019 during which he ordered the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners incarcerated in Saudi Jails.

The highly positive gesture arrived from the Saudi Crown Prince after Prime Minister Imran Khan while addressing the banquet held in his honour requested him to take steps to release 3,000 Pakistan citizens from Saudi prisons involved in minor crimes.

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