–PIA CEO says national flag carrier ready to bring back prisoners
A royal decree was issued on Tuesday ordering the release of Pakistani prisoners languishing in the prisons of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The royal decree comes after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) on Monday ordered to release as many as 2,107 Pakistani prisoners on a request by Prime Minister Imran Khan during the former’s visit of Islamabad.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry has summoned details of the Pakistani prisoners incarcerated in Saudi jails from Pakistan’s diplomatic missions in the kingdom. The Pakistani embassy in Riyadh and consulate in Jeddah have been asked to prepare lists of the Pakistani prisoners and send them to the ministry.
Earlier, on Feb 18, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry in a tweet said, “As a sequel to Prime Minister of Pakistan request, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of KSA Mohammad Bin Salman has ordered the immediate release of 2107 Pakistani prisoners Saudi Jails.”
Separately, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his tweet welcomed the move of the crown prince saying, “HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has graciously agreed to free 2107 Pakistanis with immediate effect, while rest of the case will be reviewed later,”
PIA READY TO BRING BACK PRISONERS
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) President and CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik on Tuesday said that the national flag carrier is ready to bring back the Pakistanis imprisoned in Saudi Arabia upon their release.
The PIA president made the offer in a message to the government, a statement issued by PIA said on Tuesday.
He congratulated both Prime Minister Imran Khan and Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman for making the prisoners’ release possible.
Meanwhile, a meeting at PIA Head Office was held on the readiness of fleet and other arrangements whenever required for the purpose.
Air Marshal Arshad Malik said, “We have instructed our offices in Saudi Arabia to coordinate with Pakistan Embassy and consulates and are waiting for the government’s plan and strategy in this regard and will make flight planning even at short notice.”