Jeddah: FOUZIA KHAN
Published — Tuesday 2 November 2010
The Pakistani Embassy and consulates are working round-the-clock to rectify the status of their nationals, but paperwork of hundreds of Pakistanis is yet to be completed before the end of the amnesty period on Sunday.
Almost all the diplomatic missions are requesting the Saudi government to look into these matters as the workers need more time to rectify their status.
Pakistan Consul General Aftab Khokhar told Arab News that the number of Pakistani nationals who have prepared their documents to travel but are yet to be fingerprinted was in the region of 5,000 to 6,000.
“The Amnesty scheme, which ends on Nov. 3, has been the most humanitarian gesture of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” he said. “The Pakistan community has benefited from this opportunity. The Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh as well as the Consulate of Pakistan has been working as a partner with the Saudi authorities to implement the rules and guidelines of the Saudi government.
We acknowledge and appreciate the hard work of Saudi officials. They have performed their duties very diligently. However, there are cases pending before both the passport department (Jawazat) for transfer of sponsorship (naqal kafala) and at Tarheel for final exit.”
He said these individuals had fulfilled their legal obligations and were ready to travel under the amnesty scheme. Some of them have only emergency passports without any record of their entry in the Kingdom. They are waiting for fingerprinting at Tarheel.
“The Saudi authorities have been formally requested to extend the Amnesty to Jan. 31. This will enable Saudi officials to complete the pending work and also provide relief to the remaining Pakistanis and other nationals to leave the Kingdom without being arrested. We make a humble submission to the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to extend the deadline on humanitarian grounds,” said Khokher.