650 Pakistanis laid off by Saudi companies still waiting for salaries


Among approximately 10,000 Pakistan workers, about 650 have been laid off in Saudi Arabia after the companies they worked for closed down. The distraught people are now fighting for their unpaid salaries in labour courts, according to a report in the local media.

Following the closure of a number of companies in Saudi Arabia due to various reasons, as many as 10,356 Pakistani workers were left jobless. While 6,100 returned to Pakistan, 3,520 were transferred to other employers in Saudi Arabia.

The Senate Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development was informed of this the other day when they met to discuss the matter.

Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis Secretary Mohammad Asif informed the committee that one of the companies – Saudi Oger – owed more than 127 million Saudi riyals to the Pakistani workers. He assured the committee that though the Pakistani mission continues to pursue the matter, the civil court proceedings will take time, adding that a request to expedite the court process and release the salaries has already been lodged.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister Zulfiqar Bukhari shared that the matter was “part of the agenda items discussed during high level meetings between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.”

The meeting was told that an estimated 50,000 Pakistanis had been repatriated during the last eight months. The officials said the Pakistani mission in Saudi Arabia had sought details of these Pakistanis but the reply from the concerned offices such as the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs is awaited.