Ombudsman takes notice of Overseas Pakistanis’ problems living in Saudi Arabia

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 7 (APP): The Federal Ombudsman has taken cognizance of unpaid salaries to thousands of Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia and directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately establish a special cell in Pakistan’s Embassy in Riyadh for the resolution of their issues.

Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar, Senior Adviser and Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis to Federal Ombudsman, on the instructions of Federal Ombudsman M Salman Faroqui took the notice on a written complaint of expatriate Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia.

Khokhar issued the notice of hearing to Foreign Office for August 15 with the directive to the Secretary Foreign Affairs to notify establishishment of the special cell in Pakistan’s Embassy in Saudi Arabia before the next hearing.

The complainants in their complaint apprised the Ombudsman that of workers of two construction companies, “Saudi Oger and Saad Trading Contracting Company” were not being paid salaries.

They also claimed that there are hundreds and thousands of overseas Pakistanis workers, who were also not being paid their salaries for the last many months by different Saudi companies.

The complainants stated that they were continuously struggling by visiting Saudi labour court and they did not get any response from the embassy.

They further stated that apart from the basic needs of life, including clean drinking water, they had the following main problems:

“(1 Salaries:
“We didn’t get salaries of total sixteen (16) months till now, as every week company advice for giving salary and at last day of every week again advice for the next week and this series is continued since more than a year.

(2 Iqama:
Our Iqamas have been expired since a year, companies don’t renew it and alternately because of this although companies are responsible for renewal, several times police arrested from residence, misbehaved and treated us like a criminal.

(3 Insurance:
Insurance cards have been expired for more than a year. Employers did not get medical facilities. No hospitals ready to cure with expired Iqama and insurance. If a person getting ill, it is very difficult to manage as many patients suffering from serious disease such as high blood pressure, sugar along with some dengue cases that requires proper care and cure.”