As many as 579 Pakistani prisoners have been released from the jails of Saudi Arabia ever since Saudi Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s visit to Islamabad earlier this year, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The prisoners were released under the royal pardon, said their Director General Syed Zahid Raza to the sub-committee of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistani and Human Resource Development.

The sub-committee was recently formed with the mandate to ensure the provision of legal assistance to under-trial Pakistani prisoners abroad.

The sub committee advised the Ministry OFA along with other concerned departments to contact authorities in Saudi Arabia for the early repatriation of the remaining prisoners approved to be released by MBS on request of Imran Khan.

The chair of the sub committee was assured by the Director General of the Ministry OFA that a meeting would be arranged between the committee members and a Saudi ambassador.

The committee also sought details of the Pakistanis detained in Oman to evolve a strategy to provide them with legal assistance.

According to the DG, there were about 3,000 civilians under custody in Oman’s detention centre for having invalid travel documents and migrating illegally, adding that many of them only pretended to be Pakistani nationals.

He went on to tell the committee that their details had been shared by Oman and their addresses were being verified by the interior ministry, which may take some time, but to rest assured that complete details of all those detained would be shared in the next meeting.