ISLAMABAD, Jan 15 (APP):Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis on Wednesday appreciated the Saudi authorities for releasing 2,080 Pakistani prisoners who were languishing in different jails in the Kingdom.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the release of about 2,100 Pakistani prisoners during a high-profile visit to Islamabad in February last year. Subsequently, the mutual cooperation between relevant authorities of both countries led to the release of Pakistani prisoners as promised by the crown prince, Arab News reported.

“We have been getting excellent cooperation from the Saudi authorities and hope that our remaining prisoners will also be released soon,” Zulfiqar Bukhari said in an interview with Arab News.

He said that Pakistan had managed to get a significant number of prisoners released from the Kingdom and this became “possible only due to the excellent bilateral relationship between both the brotherly countries.”

Bukhari said that a total of 3,284 Pakistani prisoners were in Saudi jailed – 1,859 of them were under the consular jurisdiction of the Pakistan Embassy in Riyadh and 1,425 under the Consulate General in Jeddah.

Official statistics show the government succeeded in getting 2,559 Pakistani prisoners freed out of a total of 6,880 imprisoned in Gulf countries, including 1,200 in the United Arab Emirates, 55 in Oman, 18 in Kuwait, 17 in Bahrain, 14 in Qatar and 10 in Iraq during the last year.

Bukhari, said that a “cogent mechanism” had been developed with the help of Saudi authorities to maintain a database of all Pakistani prisoners and convey all the latest updates to their families as well.

“Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia and other countries are our assets, and we are doing our best to take care of them,” Bukhari added.

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