ISLAMABAD/RIYADH: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday directed the Minister for Overseas Pakistanis to immediately proceed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as more than 8000 Pakistani workers remain stranded there facing shortage of food after not being paid by their employers.
These expatriates have neither been paid salaries for the last several months nor their work permits renewed by the companies which employed them, according to media reports.
Premier Sharif, taking notice of these reports, today directed the Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development to immediately proceed to Saudi Arabia to coordinate relief measures for stranded countrymen.
He directed the ministry to coordinate with Pakistani Mission in Saudi Arabia to mitigate the plight of these workers and help ensure that their issues are resolved, a statement issued from the PM Office said.
The prime minister also directed Pakistan Baitul Maal (PBM) to provide financial resources to the Pakistanis stuck in the kingdom for no fault of them.
“We will make every possible effort to resolve the plight of our brethren in Saudi Arabia,” said the premier, directing the Foreign Office (FO) to submit its report to him on daily basis.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to KSA Manzoor Ul Haq, meanwhile, visited the camp where these Pakistanis are staying in Dammam and listened to their problems, said the FO. The camp is housing nearly 800 Pakistanis.
Earlier on Wednesday, Haq had said that the Pakistan Embassy had provided basic amenities including food to countrymen stuck there.
The government of Saudi Arabia had directed the concerned companies to provide dues and arrears to stranded Pakistani workers, he had said, while talking to a private news channel.
The ambassador had further stated that various other steps had also been taken to address the issue.