Saudi Arabia Deports 40,000 Pakistanis Over ‘Security Concerns and Terrorism Fears’

 

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has deported 40,000 Pakistanis last year due to fear of terrorism and extremist activities in the middle of aggressive on-going protests against unpaid wages.

As per the local media, KSA has expelled 40,000 immigrants over the span of 4 months only. Citing anonymous interior ministry officials, Saudi Gazette reported that 39,000 people have been deported since October 2016.

Including crimes like drug trafficking, theft, forgery – many of them were expelled due to having alleged connections with extremist organizations like ISIS.
The ‘mass deportation’ was followed by a year of prolonged protests against non-payment of wages by the Pakistani working community in KSA due to the decline of the oil market and wobbly Saudi economic scenario.

Between the years 2012 and 2015, 243,000 Pakistanis have been deported as per Saudi official statistics. As per Human Rights Watch, the ‘mass deportation’, with deprivation of opportunity also includes brutal illegal beatings and poor detainment conditions – further raising eyebrows on the issue.

As per the European University Institute’s stats for the year 2014, almost 900,000 Pakistanis were employed in the country’s established construction industry and low-paid wage jobs.

As per 2010 census, among 27 million population of Saudi Arabia, 8.5 million or 30% are foreign nationals.

With compromised working conditions and low salaries, the Pakistanis there for long are protesting against non-payment of wages as well. During the month of January 2017 in Mecca, many expatriate workers from middle-eastern and Asian countries were beaten and jailed for publicly protesting for their working rights and payment of salaries – leading to violence later on.

According to New Arab, Indian and Philippine workers have also been laid off, but the expulsion of Pakistanis is purely due to security concerns. Kingdom previously also asked for strict screening for Pakistanis due to their alleged link with terrorists.

“Pakistan itself is plagued with terrorism due to its close proximity with Afghanistan. The Taliban extremist movement was itself born in Pakistan” – says chair of the security committee of the country’s Shura Council, Abdullah Al-Sadoun.

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