The Saudi Gazette reported that tens of thousands of Muslim Pakistani migrants have been expelled from Saudi Arabia in the last four months, citing growing concerns of terrorism.
Nearly 40,000 Pakistani migrant workers have been deported since October 2016 over residency and work permits violations and security concerns, as well as crimes, including drug trafficking, forgery, and theft, says the article.
Reportedly, authorities feared that some of the Pakistani migrant workers were suspected to have ties to ISIS and other extremist groups.
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Several prominent Saudi politicians, including Abdullah Al-Sadoun, chair of the security committee of the country’s Shura Council, have called for more stringent screening processes for Pakistani nationals before they are allowed to work in the Kingdom due to the involvement of a number of Pakistanis in security issues, says the Gazette.
Al-Sadoun told reporters, “Pakistan itself is plagued with terrorism due to its close proximity with Afghanistan. The Taliban extremist movement was itself born in Pakistan.”
As it stands, an estimated 80 Pakistani nationals are in prison in Saudi Arabia for terrorism charges or security-related violations.
In 2016, 35-year-old Abdullah Gulzar Khan, a Pakistani citizen who had lived and worked in Saudi Arabia legally for the previous 12 years, blew himself up in a suicide attack near the US consulate in Jeddah. No other injuries were reported in the incident.
Two Pakistani nationals as well as one Sudanese and one Syrian were also arrested for allegedly planning a terror attack on a football match between the kingdom and the United Arab Emirates in Jeddah’s Al-Jawhara Stadium last year.
“Official Saudi statistics say that 243,000 Pakistanis were deported between 2012 – 2015,” reports The Independent. “Mass deportations of migrant workers – which Human Rights Watch and other rights organizations say often involve illegal beatings and detainment in poor conditions – are fairly common.”
The report also claims that mass deportations come after a year fraught with protests and civil unrest surrounding unpaid wages and a declining oil market that led to a plummeting Saudi economy.
H/T: Daily Wire
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