The escalating humanitarian crisis in Saudi Arabia is a matter of great concern for the international community. Pakistan is also apprehensive of over 8000 stranded Pakistani migrant workers employed by two Saudi Companies, Saad Trading and Contracting Company in Al Khobar and the Saudi Oger Limited in Dammam. These workers have neither been paid nor have received their end-of-service benefits for at least two months with resident permits of many workers not renewed by the firms.

The Saudi crisis began when Saudi construction giant Bin Laden group laid off tens of thousands after its contracts were frozen after a crane fell over the grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 107. It is not only the slowdown in construction but the country is increasingly feeling the pinch of low oil prices that can lead to civil unrest despite the bold reform plan 2030 of deputy crown prince Muhammad Bin Salman. It is being viewed that Saudi government is at a crossroads and the decisions it makes in the near future could entirely change the game in the desert kingdom.

This growing issue of stranded Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia has being duly acknowledged by the government of Pakistan; PM Pakistan has paid great attention to it. There are certain measures adopted by Pakistan’s embassy in Riyadh. It has set up a special facilitation centre and special fund to help the distressed Pakistanis there. They are also being provided food, shelter and medical assistance. PM Nawaz Sharif has also approved a compensation package of Rs 500 million for families of Pakistani workers in Saudi Arabia. According to a statement, Rs 50,000 will be given to each affected family. In this regard, the PM directed the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development to prepare the authenticated lists of the concerned families at the earliest to ensure transparency. On the basis of these lists, cheques have been distributed among the victims. Saudi authorities have also directed the companies to pay the salaries of the employees so that they can fly back to their country.

Saudi Arabia owes great importance to all Pakistanis due to religious affiliation and sacred places. It is the top international destination for Pakistani migrants. According to sources, 4.3 million Pakistanis are working there. It is also single largest source of remittances. The workers working in the kingdom sent back $5.9 billion from July 2015 to June 2016. The State Bank of Pakistan recorded an increase in remittances amounting to $582.84 million in June 2016 as compared to $536.68 million in June 2015. Prime Minister of Pakistan, realising the importance of Pakistani workers and their role in economic strength of Pakistan said, “We stand by our hardworking workers who are away from their homeland to earn a living for their families. They are our strength and pride. We will help them out in all possible ways”.

Some people criticised the government for not taking notice of the plight of stranded workers in Saudi Arabia and advised the Government of Pakistan to sign an agreement with Saudi Arabia for the protection of rights of Pakistanis there on the pattern of the Indian Government. They are unaware of the ground realities and ignorant of the problems being faced by Indians and other migrants working in Saudi Arabia. As a matter of fact, about 20,000 Filipinos and 10,000 Indian migrant workers were also stranded and left destitute in the Kingdom after the plunge in oil prices sparked construction layoffs. It is reported by Garry Martinez, Chairman of the migrant group which works for the millions of Filipino overseas workers worldwide, that the situation is the worst with Filipinos. They are forced to beg or sift through garbage to survive after going unpaid for months. Indians are also among millions of poor Asians working in Gulf States, where human rights groups say many suffer exploitation and abuses including non-payment of wages.

Indian-Held-Kashmir (IHK) has been teetered with worst humanitarian crisis for the last seven decades. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also raised the voice of Kashmiri freedom fighters describing the Kashmir situation as an “ongoing humanitarian crisis”. The unequivocal support of PM to Kashmiris who are victims of the Indian forces’ atrocities has once again internationalised the Kashmir issue. PM has offered medical treatment to the victims of India’s state oppression in IHK. He offered eye treatment for the victims of pellet guns from the best available medical facilities in the world. He also called upon the international community to exercise its influence on India for ending bloodshed in Kashmir and providing access to provision for treatment to the victims.

Both humanitarian crisis the government of Pakistan is dealing with are very different in nature. The prompt action of PM towards Saudi crisis and helping the victims’ families financially is, no doubt a welcoming step. In the case of IHK, this humanitarian crisis is the worst in nature and requires international support. The true face of India has been unveiled before the international community. Pakistan should force the international community and international organisations established to maintain world peace and harmony to solve the Kashmir issue according to UN resolutions. The gross violation of human rights in IHK by Indian brutal forces raises many questions about the very existence of peace-loving international organisations. International peace-keeping organisations should not only condemn the treacherous activities of Indian forces in IHK but also help Kashmiris in getting their right of self-determination according.