LAHORE - Justice Project Pakistan, a NGO, welcomed the release of hundreds of Pakistanis from the UAE jails. On Friday, the United Arab Emirates announced the release of 572 Pakistani prisoners as part of an amnesty by President Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The JPP commended the efforts of Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfiqar Bukhari and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for role in getting the prisoners released from the UAE jails.  The NGO appreciated the statement by the Foreign Office ensuring complete cooperation by the government to expedite the release of Pakistanis from the UAE and hopes that they will return homeland on Eid. The announcement is a result of rigorous diplomatic engagement with the brotherly nation by the current government.

This shows that foreign governments are willing to respond when Pakistani authorities raise the issue of its citizens. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Imran Khan emphatically raised the issue of Pakistanis imprisoned in Saudi Arabia with the visiting crown prince and secured the promise of the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners in KSA jails. According to official figures, there are over 11,000 Pakistani citizens languishing in jails across the world, with Saudi Arabia detaining the highest number of Pakistanis (3,400), followed by UAE (2,600).   JPP is concerned with the fact that despite this largest repatriation ever from the Emirates, there are still more than 2000 Pakistanis waiting for an act of mercy.  “We hope that the government of Pakistan will continue its mission to protect the rights of Pakistanis imprisoned in foreign jails,” Executive Director JPP, Sarah Belal said.