ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Wednesday met Acting Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Jassem Al-Khaledi to discuss a host of issues, including stopping of funding to proscribed militant organisations in Pakistan by Saudi philanthropists.

The government, as part of the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), had said that it had asked three brotherly Islamic countries to stop funding to banned organisations in Pakistan. After this, the government contacted Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in this connection. An official statement, issued by the Ministry of Interior, said that Acting Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Jassem Al-Khaledi called on the interior minister. However, the statement did not mention that the issue of stopping of funding came under discussion at the meeting.

According to the statement, the minister said Pakistan and Saudia Arabia enjoyed unique brotherly relations. “Our special ties have grown with the passage of time to new heights and the government of Pakistan is committed to strengthening them further,” he maintained

The cooperation in the field of combating crime, illicit trafficking and smuggling of narcotics would be soon materialised after signing of MoU between the two countries, the minister added. “Both the countries share common faith and brotherhood, which is clearly reflected in the high-spirited mutual relations,” headded.  Nisar said Saudia Arabia had always supported Pakistan. “The government and people of Pakistan hold the leadership, the royal family and their people in very high esteem,” he said.  The ambassador thanked the kind remarks of the minister and pledged the full cooperation and never-ending support of the Saudi government towards the Pakistan government. He also conveyed good wishes from the royal family for the government and people of Pakistan.

Pakistani among two beheaded in KSA

AFP adds: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday beheaded a convicted Pakistani drug trafficker and one of its own citizens who killed a soldier. Their cases bring to nine the number of executions this year, according to an AFP tally.

Rakan bin Eid bin Bikheet al-Baqmi, a Saudi, was found guilty of chasing and firing on a security patrol, killing soldier Sultan bin Ibrahim bin Ghrahid al-Jaid, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. Baqmi was executed in the Makkah region of western Saudi Arabia.

On the other side of the country, in Qatif near the Gulf coast, Mahmoud Massih son of Iqbal Massih from Pakistan was executed for heroin trafficking, the ministry said. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of Islamic law.

Saudi Arabia carried out the death penalty against 87 people last year, up from 78 in 2013, according to an AFP tally. The kingdom had the third-highest number of recorded executions in 2013, behind Iran and Iraq, Amnesty International said in a report.

‘Saudi Arabia must lead’

Our staff reporter adds from Peshawar: Jamaat Islami (JI) Central Chief Sirajul Haq has said that publication of caricatures of the holy prophet (PBUH) by a French magazine has hurt the feelings of millions of Muslims across the world,  urging for an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to give a clear-cut message to the West in this regard.

"Degradation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the garb of freedom of press is not tolerable anymore," Siraj said this while addressing a news conference on Wednesday here at the Al-Markaz Islami, JI Provincial Headquarter.

He said if the leaders of over 40 Western countries, including Prime Minister of Israel along with 1.5 million people, took to roads in the support of a magazine, which had published blasphemous caricatures, then millions of Muslims should also hold protest over the blasphemy.

The JI ameer said that in Muslim countries very occasionally churches and worship places of non-Muslims were attacked but whenever such incident happened then the rulers, religious and political leaders of the West started making hue and cry over it but on the other hand they do not bother to condemn the blasphemous action of a magazine. "The Western leaders instead to condemn hurting of feelings of over Rs150 million Muslims through the publication of caricatures of the holy prophet (PBUH) in a French magazine came out to support it," he added.

Siraj said: "We want that Muslims living anywhere in the world should obey the law of their respective countries but it is also responsibility of the leaders and intellectuals of the West to stop publications of the blasphemous caricatures." He warned if the western countries failed to stop such acts and publications, then a third World War may happen and no western country would remain safe.

He also urged upon the Saudi Arab King Shah Abdullah, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Turkish Prime Minister Rajab Tayyab Ordagon and rulers of rest of the Muslim countries to fulfil their responsibilities and give a stern response to West in this regard.

Flanked by JI Provincial Ameer Professor Ibrahim Khan and other office-bearers, he said that Salman Rushdi had written against Ummahatul Momineen and committed the blasphemy but the West welcomed him. Similarly, Tasleema Nasreen of Bangladesh committed blasphemy but she was also welcomed in the West.

 "In France, Muslim women in recent past were too attacked and killed for the sin of wearing scarf. In Norway a mosque was set on fire by terrorists but none of the Muslim ruler or Western leader condemned it and came against it on roads," Siraj said.

The JI chief further said that in France, Denmark and Canada blasphemous caricatures were earlier too published and the Muslims across the world had showed their resentment but the process still continued. "WE believe in freedom of press and are also against terrorism and extremism but we consider the publication of blasphemous caricatures of the holy prophet (PBUH) as terrorism and extremism," Sirajul Haq said.