233 more stranded workers return from Saudi Arabia

RAWALPINDI: Pakistani construction workers sacked by their employers in Saudi Arabia continue to arrive back home. On Friday two more groups — one of 188 workers and the other of 45 — arrived here at Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

The group of 188 workers came from Jeddah by Saudi Arabian Airline flight SV-888 in the early hours of the day. The other group arrived here by Saudi Arabian Airline flight SV-724 in the evening.

Mohammad Iqbal, one of the deported workers who belonged to Azad Kashmir, told media personnel that there were more than 6,000 Pakistani workers stranded in Saudi Arabia who were waiting to be sent back to their country as they were facing problems.

He claimed that he was not among those who received aid by the Pakistani mission in the kingdom on the orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He alleged that the aid was being given to only some selected people.

Mr Iqbal said because of their unemployment in Saudi Arabia families of workers in Pakistan had been facing financial difficulties.

He claimed that a large number of Pakistani workers had not been paid their salary by their Saudi employers over the past 10 months.

He said Pakistani workers had been living in a very bad condition in camps where they were served unhygienic food.

Another Pakistani worker told Dawn without giving his name that he would never again think of going abroad through recruiting agents. He said he would stay in his own country and work hard.

After brief questioning by the immigration staff, all the deported workers were allowed to go home.