Visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has ordered the immediate release of over 2,000 Pakistani prisoners in the Kingdom's jails, Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Monday. Prime Minister Imran Khan at a ceremony held to welcome the Saudi crown prince at PM House on Sunday night had made a "special request" to him on the Pakistani prisoners.
"There are some 3,000 [Pakistani] prisoners there and we just would like you to bear in mind that they are poor people who have left their families behind," Khan said. The Crown Prince, who was here on a visit, responded by assuring Khan to consider him Pakistan's ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
"We cannot say no to Pakistan ... whatever we can do, we will deliver that," said the crown prince, who has been bestowed Pakistan's highest civil award — Nishan-e-Pakistan — for his "outstanding support for reinvigorating Pak-Saudi bilateral relationship". Information Minister Chaudhry in a tweet said: "As a sequel to Prime Minister of Pakistan's request, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of KSA Mohammad Bin Salman has ordered the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners from Saudi Jails."
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also noted that the crown prince had "graciously agreed" to free the Pakistani prisoners "with immediate effect". "Cases of the remaining will be reviewed," he announced.