No targeting of Pakistani expatriates, asserts consulate.

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Saudi Gazette report

The Consulate General of Pakistan on Saturday refuted some social media reports on the arrest and deportation of Pakistani expatriates across the Makkah region.

The consulate said its officials were in contact with the relevant Saudi authorities. It was informed that Saudi authorities routinely apprehend and deport illegal expatriates from all nationalities. The exercise continues with varying intensity throughout the year. The recent drive has been initiated a week ago focusing mainly on the expatriates without iqama (residency permit) over stayers and, illegal workers, and those working not at their place of iqama or in professions reserved for Saudi nationals. In this connection, around 400 Pakistanis were taken to the Shumaisi Deportation Center near Makkah over the last three days, the consulate said.

“The assumption that it is a Pakistan-specific drive is completely incorrect,” the consulate said, adding that dissemination of such news through social media has created unnecessary anxiety and unrest in the Pakistani community. “Certain social media sections are also giving it a misleading political angle. It is in the interest of the deep-rooted Pak-Saudi brotherly relations that such baseless and irresponsible twist is avoided at all costs,” the consulate said.

Advising the Pakistani community in the Kingdom to remain calm and not to pay attention to the fabricated social media campaign, the consulate said it was in regular contact with the Saudi authorities in the matter. It also said it was taking all possible measures, within local rules and regulations, to protect the interests of Pakistani community.

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