JEDDAH: Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz called on Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif at his office in Jeddah and discussed the release of Pakistani prisoners languishing in the Kingdom’s jails, the Pakistan consulate in Jeddah said on Thursday.
Ambassador Ejaz raised the matter of “destitute Pakistani prisoners who have completed their sentence but are not able to pay their dues,” a statement from the Pakistan consulate said. “Ambassador requested for consideration of payment through baitul maal [Saudi social welfare organization]. Saudi Interior Minister assured consideration of the proposal in cases of destitute prisoners.”
A Pakistani trucker pardoned this July by Saudi Arabia returned to Pakistan this week after spending seven years in jail following a deadly road accident. The Saudi bait-ul-maal had paid SAR 1.3 million ($350,000) as blood money to the families of the people who died in the accident in 2012, paving the way for the Pakistani man’s release.
In February Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the release of about 2,100 Pakistani prisoners from the kingdom’s jails during a high-profile visit to Islamabad. The announcement came after a personal request by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.