Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Saudi Arabia on Friday, likely to discuss release of Pakistani prisoners from Saudi jail

The release of the prisoners will be expedited with Saudi Arabia's cooperation.

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Prime Minister Imran Khan in Al Masjid An Nabawi (The Prophet (PBUH)’s Mosque) in Madinah Al Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia, during his visit to the kingdom in September 2018. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) this week from the 7th of May (Friday) to the 9th of May (Sunday).

The premier is expected to discuss the release of Pakistani prisoners languishing in the kingdom’s jails.

According to details provided by Arab News Pakistan, the premier will be visiting the kingdom on the invitation of Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), the Saudi Crown Prince.

In an interview with Saudi media, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Lieutenant General (retd.) Bilal Akbar said memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in three areas would be signed during the premier’s visit.

Akbar disclosed that a meeting related to prisoners’ release would be held during the prime minister’s visit.

The release of the prisoners will be expedited with Saudi Arabia’s cooperation.

Akbar added that hundreds of prisoners would be released from jails in Saudi Arabia and return to their homeland.

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This is not the first time that the prime minister has raised the issue of Pakistani prisoners languishing in Saudi jails.

In February 2019, the premier requested MbS to release Pakistani prisoners in Saudi jails during his visit to the South Asian country.

Following the premier’s request, MbS had ordered the release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

“We’re setting up a helpline at the embassy, which will work 24 hours a day,” said the Pakistani ambassador.

Akbar explained that the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia could use the helpline to communicate the problems and issues they face in the kingdom.

A community service program will also be established to address their concerns.

PM Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia.

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During a weekly press briefing, the Foreign Office Spokesperson, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, confirmed PM Imran Khan’s official visit to Saudi Arabia this week.

The premier is expected to meet MbS and other Saudi leaders during his visit to the kingdom.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa, arrived in the kingdom ahead of the prime minister’s visit.

Qamar Bajwa is being received by the Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Saudi military officials.  (ARAB NEWS)

The premier will be accompanied by several members of the cabinet during his visit.

These include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry, the Special Representative to Prime Minister on Religious Harmony & the Middle East, Tahir Ashrafi, and the Federal Minister & Adviser to Prime Minister for Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam.

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