Allow us to celebrate Eid with kids
The eastern province of Saudi Arabia is not only an attraction for foreign tourists but it is the heart of Kingdom’s oil industry where overseas workers populate the sector. A vast majority of Pakistanis, Indians and Sri Lankans as well as Saudi shias live there. It is because of this diverse mix, the Provincial government launched a programme “Ehna al Ahl” - we are one family. It is meant to enhance the cohesion, understanding and denounce division and extremism. Unfortunately Pakistan is not a part of this one family. There are many Pakistanis who have been trying to obtain an exit permit, which would allow them to visit their country. Several months ago, Saudi government issued a directive that Pakistanis would be allowed to visit Pakistan once in a year. However, the government withdrew it and said that Pakistani workers can visit their country multiple times as was the practice in previous years. Yet system of getting exit permit is complicated and cumbersome.
Only way through which they can get permit is computerized system, “Muqeeb” when Pakistani workers tried to obtain their exit permit, they get error message and were asked to visit passport office of Jubail, where once again, they were told that they can not go to Pakistan multiple times in a year. Pakistani Embassy in Riyadh issued a statement that they know workers’ concerns about exit permit, they are constantly in contact with concerned authorities and very soon matter would be sorted out.
Now it has been months that it is not resolved and many Pakistanis are fettered in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. It is Ramazan and Pakistani workers would like to celebrate Eid with their families. The Pak government is requested to kindly take up the issue with Saudi authorities and make it easy for workers to obtain entry/exit permit so that they could come to Pakistan and celebrate Eid with their families. —Larkana, Sindh