Pakistanis to soon have a good news from UAE

Pakistanis to soon have a good news from UAE

ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari Tuesday hinted early release of Pakistani prisoners languishing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)'s jails in minor cases.

Pakistani inmates will be released and repatriated soon, he informed the Senate Standing Committee on the OP&HRD, which was chaired by Senator Hilal-ur-Rehman.

He said the government was in contact with the UAE authorities to get Pakistani prisoners released at the earliest especially those involved in petty offenses.

On the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the ministry and its subsidiary departments were making all out efforts and discussing possibilities with the authorities concerned abroad to ensure the release of inmates locked up in foreign prisons on minor crimes, he apprised the committee.

The committee appreciated the government for ensuring release of over 2,100 prisoners from Saudi Arabia’s jails.

Giving credit to the government for achieving this milestone on humanitarian front, Senator Nighat Mirza said the leadership of both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia must be lauded for this kind gesture toward the most unattended segment of the society.

She sought the pace of repatriation process of Pakistani prisoners recently released by Saudi government.

To this, Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) Managing Director Amir Sheikh said the foundation was constantly in contact with the relevant authorities in Saudi Arabia and asked to share the released prisoners’ data to make sure their safe return to their homeland. The repatriation process would take more than three weeks, he added.

He said, however, over 150 released Pakistani from Saudi jails had returned to the country.

Zulfikar Bukhari also informed the meeting that the ministry had also facilitated the return of 28 Pakistani drivers stuck up in Iraq and over 400 in other countries despite the airspace was being closed intermittently.

Senator Sassui Palijo took the exception over the humiliation of Shakir Ullah’s body which was recently handed over by India after Pakistan released Indian air force pilot wing commander Abhinandan as a good will gesture for peace. She urged the committee chairman to take up the issue and termed the shameful act of Indian authorities as terrible one.

The committee had also discussed the case of Nasir Awan, an overseas Pakistani, to evacuate his land from an alleged illegal occupation.

The committee discussed his case at length and asked the OPF managing director to respond his queries. The OPF managing director said the case was sub judice and the foundation had no authority to retrieve his (Nasir) land.

Nasir appealed the committee to give his children free education as his decade-long litigation made him bankrupt. At this, Zulfi assured that the ministry would bear the expense of his children education.

The senate body also asked the OPF to inform about the total land it had retrieved from encroachers till-date. Amir Sheikh said they had evacuated some 102 Kanal land of OPF Valley Zone-V in first month of this year and over 76 Kanal from Lahore due to special assistant to prime minister's unwavering efforts.

The OP&HRD Secretary Pervaiz Janjua said the ministry had requested the law division to draft a law for establishing special courts for the overseas Pakistanis’ lands retrieval as majority of the Pakistani expatriates were experiencing the same situation.

The OPF managing director informed the panel that there were total 984 cases regarding property disputes out of which some 400 were being pending in various courts of law.

Meanwhile, the committee deferred two public petitions saying it was not an appropriate forum for hearing those cases.

The meeting were also attended by senators Sabir Shah, Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Najma Hameed and Samina Saeed.