Almost 40,000 Pakistanis deported by S. Arabia amid concerns over terror

About 39,000 Pakistani citizens, mostly migrant workers, were deported by Saudi Arabia between October 2016 and January 2017, the Saudi media reported Wednesday. The official reason for the large-scale deportations was violation of visa rules, with a high rate of involvement by the migrants in serious crimes including drug dealing and violence. However, the actual reason was concern by the kingdom's security services that infiltrators could set up Islamic State terror networks in the country. The head of the security committee of the Saudi Shura Council called for thorough scrutiny of visa candidates from Pakistan as well as coordination by the intelligence services of the two countries, amid growing concern that Afghan Taliban members could infiltrate into Saudi Arabia disguised as migrants from Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan. According to security sources, more than 100 Pakistani migrants involved in some of the recent terrorist attacks in and around Riyadh are being held in Saudi investigation or detention facilities.

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