Tourism bounces back in Pakistan despite pandemic impact: Zulfikar Bukhari
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ISLAMABAD, Jan 8 (APP):Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari Tuesday took strong note of plight of expatriate Pakistanis languishing in foreign jails and reiterated the government's firm commitment for their release on priority.He would made foreign visits to convince the authorities concerned of other countries for the release of such overseas Pakistanis languishing in foreign jails, the SAPM informed APP.
	Bukhari said the government would utilize all available resources and channels for their early release."Release of overseas Pakistanis imprisoned in foreign jails is the top priority of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led government," he remarked.
	He said the government was already in contact with the authorities concerned in Dubai to evolve a mechanism for bringing back the jailed Pakistanis, who committed minor crimes and could not return to their home due to different issues like non-payment of fines and lack of resources to pursue legal proceedings. 
	The ministry is holding consultation with all stakeholders within the country to expedite the repatriation process, Bukhari said and added that and negotiations with Qatari and Saudi Arabia's authorities were underway for release of such Pakistanis. He welcomed Bahrain's recent decision to release 12 Pakistani prisoners and lauded the move.
	In another development, the Senate body on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development has recently sought the complete detail of the arrangements taken by the ministry regarding repatriation of overseas Pakistanis languishing in different countries' jails.
	Some three months back, a report submitted by the Interior Ministry in the Lahore High Court had revealed that over 11,803 Pakistani expatriates were languishing in foreign imprisonments.
	According to the report, the Interior Ministry was eying for a supplementary grant of US $35,000 to make arrangements for repatriation of Pakistani citizens imprisoned abroad and submitted a summary to the finance division in this regard. 
	As per the report, 2,937 Pakistanis are jailed in Saudi Arabia, 1,842 Greece, 582 India, 177 Afghanistan, 242 China, 188 Iran, and 226 in Malaysia. 
	The present government has secured the release of 12 Pakistani prisoners who were imprisoned in Bahrain due to their involvement in petty crimes. The pardon to those prisoners was granted by King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa on account of Bahrain’s National Day.