Saudi Arabia executed a Pakistani couple accused smuggling drugs, Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday.
According to Justice Project Pakistan, Fatima Ijaz is the first Pakistani woman to be executed in Saudi Arabia since 2014.
The rights group said that three Pakistani nationals, Ijaz, her husband Muhammad Mustafa and Abdul Malik, were executed in the Kingdom.
“Saudi Arabia has executed more than 100 Pakistanis in the past five years,” the rights group said in a statement. “The Kingdom executes more Pakistanis than any other foreign nationality, with 20 executions in 2014, 22 in 2015, 7 in 2016, 17 in 2017, 30 in 2018 and 14 this year so far.”
“It is extremely disheartening to know that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has executed its first female Pakistani prisoner in five years,” Sarah Belal, the executive director of Justice Project Pakistan, said in a statement.
She called Ijaz’s execution a “gross failure” of the Pakistani mission to do its constitutional duty.
“The government of Pakistan must utilise all diplomatic channels to compel the Saudi government to halt the executions of Pakistanis facing the harshest punishment,” she added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had informed Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that there were 3,000 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi Arabia.
“We would just like you to bear in mind that they are poor people who have left their families behind,” PM Khan said.
The crown prince told PM Khan to consider him Pakistan’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia. “We cannot say no to Pakistan … whatever we can do, we will deliver that,” he said.