Riyadh-Embassy of Afghanistan in Riyadh has officially started the procedures to issue passports for its citizens residing in Saudi Arabia and holding the Pakistani passport.
This move came as Saudi authorities provided the embassy with the approval to issue around 150 passports per day in a move that aims at ending the suffering of these citizens, who have not been able to travel to their families because their passports were either confiscated, or they were detained at the airports.
Ambassador of Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia Sayed Jalal Karim told Asharq Al-Awsat that Afghanistan is ripping the benefits of the talks between CEO of Afghanistan in Riyadh Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense.
Karim said that the Embassy of Afghanistan has started the issuance of the passports for Afghanis holding Pakistani passports after Saudi authorities gave their approval.
Karim pointed out to the fact that there is no clear and definitive statistics that illustrate the exact number of Afghanis living in Saudi Arabia and holding Pakistani passports; however, he said that their number is expected to range between 50,000 and 70,000 residents.
He noted that this let him participate himself in finalizing the issuance of the passports, along with 15 employees in the embassy, for a long queue of Afghanis lining outside the embassy in Riyadh.
The ambassador explained that Afghanis got their Pakistani passports illegally in the first place, thus they used to travel illegally too.
For this reason, he said, the embassy wants to serve them and solve their problems as quick as possible.
Moreover, many of the Afghanis working in Saudi Arabia, who headed to their embassy in Riyadh to get their legal passports, praised the Saudi government’s support.