In a startling revelation, around 39,000 Pakistani nationals have been deported from Saudi Arabia in the past four months for visa violations, reported Saudi Gazette. Besides a top security official has ordered a probe of Pakistanis allowed in the country as concerns that some of them could be ISIS sympathizers have begun to take root.
The increasing acts of violence perpetrated by the ISIS seem to the immediate reason behind the move. However, for countries that have been close allies for long, this might be indicative of signs of trouble in the relations. The involvement of Pakistani nationals in the Madina and Jeddah blasts last year showed that the kingdom is not immune to radicalization. The same year security forces had foiled a terrorist operation involving two Pakistanis among other nationals for plotting to explode Al-Jawhara Stadium in Jeddah where more than 60,000 spectators were gathered to watch a soccer match.
According to data released by the Interior Ministry, 82 Pakistani suspects of terror and security issues are currently held in intelligence prisons. The acts of violence also established that the presence of ISIS is growing and there was an urgent need for action.
In addition to this, reports have also emerged that a number of Pakistanis are held in the crimes of drug trafficking, thefts, forgery and physical assault. This led to Abdullah Al-Sadoun, chairman of the security committee of the Shoura Council calling for a “through scrutiny” of Pakistanis entering Saudi Arabia for work. He added that “Pakistan itself is plagued with terrorism due to its close proximity with Afghanistan. The Taliban extremist movement was itself born in Pakistan.”
With the global powers waking up to the threat posed by nations that practice terrorism as the state policy, the deportation of Pakistani nationals assumes greater significance. Saudi Arabia has in the process challenged the long held policy of all weather friendship with Pakistan and send out a strong message that export of terror will bring with it strong repercussions. Also, Pakistan’s reluctance to involve in the war in Yemen had caused the first crack in the relations with Saudi questioning the dependability of Pakistan as an ally. The crack in Pakistan-Saudi relations might in all probability be the start of the global isolation of Pakistan.