ISLAMABAD: Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Asif apprised the Senate on Wednesday that there were 1,357 and 1,580 Pakistani prisoners languishing in Riyadh and Jeddah regions, respectively.
Replying to various questions during question hour, the minister said the main charges against them were drugs related, bringing un-prescribed tranquilizer tablets, theft, forgery, immoral crimes, murder, rape, and brawl / fighting.
He said as per local regulations, practicing Saudi lawyers were permitted to appear in the local courts.
As many as 66 Pakistanis have been executed in Saudi Arabia since 2013. The main crimes committed by such individuals were drug related crimes, rape and murder, he said.
Asif said our Missions in Saudi Arabia provided consular access to all the prisoners in Saudi jails. However, legal services provided by our Missions were limited to translation, facilitation in preparation of cases and persuasion with various agencies etc, he said.
To another question, the minister said the government was ready to make proper arrangements with other countries to address Pakistani prisoner issues. He said proposal had been sent to India to relax maximum and minimum age from 70 to 60 and from 18-16 for exchange of prisoners between the two countries.