‘Prisoners of injustice’

September 22, 2019

Email

THIS is apropos your editorial ‘Prisoners of injustice’ (Sept 14). It is strange Saudi Arabia and Middle Eastern countries have 3,400 Pakistanis prisoners languishing in jail for an indefinite period.

It is sad that Saudi Arabia has executed 26 Pakistanis in one year on charges of drug trafficking. It may be mentioned that Pakistanis generally go to Saudi Arabia for employment as it is a Muslim country.

But as mentioned by you in the editorial people were arrested by Saudi Arabia on charges of carrying drugs. Were they given fair trials? Judicial proceedings in Saudi Arabia are conducted in a language Pakistanis do not understand.

Justice demands that the suspects are given a fair opportunity to prove that they are not criminals. This is not being done, and it often appears Saudis are executing mostly innocent people who went there for employment.

During the visit to Pakistan in February, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had agreed to release 2,107 Pakistani prisoners from Saudi jails. So far a very few prisoners Pakistanis have arrived in Pakistan, while the remaining are awaiting the fulfilment of the promise by the crown prince.

The matter needs to be looked into as it is a matter of life and death for them and their families.

Syed Mushtaq Ahmad
Lahore

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2019