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Freed Pakistanis return amidst cheerful tears

Five innocent Pakistani freed by Saudi Arabia in drugs smuggling case on Friday touched the motherland after lapse of 4 months.

The released Pakistani were brought to Pakistan through a special plane and were warmly received by Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Inter Senator Talha Mehmood and relatives of innocent victims at Chaklala airport round about 3:40 pm.

Five people including Rabia Anis, Mohammad Anis, Zahara Mani, Mohammad Arif Chohan and Shumiala Arif arrested in Saudi Arabia on charges of heroin smuggling belong to Karachi areas of Azizabad and Korangi. These families arrived in Saudi Arabia for Umrah on June 1, where they were arrested on heroin smuggling charges.

These families went to perform Umrah after consulting local travel Agency. A sub-travel agent Sarwat Hussain, his wife Safia Hussain and son Syed Faraz living in Korangi gave heroine hidden in Ahram and sandals to a family as a gift, which turned out to be their downfall.

The main accused in the case, Syed Sarvat Hussain Shah, Safia Hussain and Faraz Hussain were in custody, while the mastermind, Haji Abdul Jabbar Tonyo, was at large.

Talking to journalists at the airbase, Interior Minister A. Rehman Malik expressed his gratitude to the Saudi royal family, especially Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz, for their support to the innocent Pakistanis.

He said the government would not spare the culprits who had tarnished the country’s image and the mastermind would be apprehended soon. He said the credit goes to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani who ordered him to resolve the matter before Eid.

He also saluted media for highlighting the issue at every forum. Quaid Muttahida Qaumi Movement Altaf Hussain, Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistani Farooq Sattar and Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator Talha Mehmood have also played a crucial role in release of Pakistani, he said.

Answering to a question, he said, it was the victory of whole nation and families held in S. Arabia in drug smuggling case were released unconditionally.

Soon after the incident, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani took immediate cognizance of the matter, and in consultation with the MQM leadership, instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior and Anti-Narcotics Force to look into the issue with a view to establishing the factual position.

The Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh and the Consulate General of Pakistan in Jeddah shared the findings with regard to non-involvement of arrested Pakistan with Saudi concerned authorities.

The Saudi Government responded positively to Pakistani request and released Pakistanis on the eve of Eid. Senator Talha Mehmood in a brief chat with media men said he would not enjoy the celebrations because more than 5,000 Pakistani including Dr. Aafia Siddiqi is languishing in different Jails of foreign countries and out of which many are innocent.

He sought help of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, media, his department, his committee members for release of Pakistanis. The nation should get united, he said.

It may be recalled here Federal Interior Minister on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr made the announcement with regard to release of five Pakistanis who were detained for involvement in a narcotics smuggling case.

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