Overseas Pakistanis ministry says U.A.E. freed the largest number of prisoners in the past 18 months
Over 8,600 Pakistanis who were languishing in various prisons abroad have been released and rejoined their families in Pakistan in the past 18 months, according to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.
In a posting on Twitter, the ministry shared the details of the prisoners who had been released. It said the largest number of freed Pakistanis—3,023—had been detained in the United Arab Emirates, while Saudi Arabia came in second with 2,020.
Similarly, it said, 1,500 Pakistanis had been freed from detention in Malaysia; 668 from Iraq; 113 from Kuwait and 106 from Qatar. The remaining 1,170 prisoners were detained in various other countries around the world, it added.
According to a report published by state-run Associated Press of Pakistan, the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government has sought to help all Pakistanis who are trapped in foreign countries, even arranging two special chartered flights to repatriate the Pakistanis with expired travel documents who had availed an amnesty scheme in Malaysia.
A senior official of the Overseas Pakistanis ministry told APP that around 8,284 illegally migrated Pakistanis had returned home from Malaysia under a four-month ‘Back4good’ amnesty scheme launched in August last year. He claimed the PTI was the first government to have made “concentrated efforts” for the release of overseas Pakistanis from foreign jails and credited Prime Minister Imran Khan for convincing foreign nations to release Pakistani nationals.
The nongovernmental Justice Project Pakistan last year said that around 11,000 Pakistani migrant workers were suffering in foreign jails. The revelation followed P.M. Khan personally requesting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to ensure their release.