Saudi Crown prince orders release of 850 Indian prisoners at PM Modi's request
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has ordered the release of 850 Indian prisoners lodged in jails in his country on the request of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government said this evening.
"Another big deliverable! At the request of the PM @narendramodi, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has ordered the release of 850 Indian prisoners lodged in Saudi jails," Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Along with the release of the prisoners, the Foreign Ministry said the Saudi Crown Prince has also announced the increase in quote for Indian Haj pilgrims to 2 lakh at the request of PM Modi.
PM Modi and the Saudi prince had held bilateral talks earlier in the day in the shadow of escalating tension with Pakistan over last week's terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Calling terrorism and extremism a "common concern", the Crown Prince in a joint press conference with PM Modi said Saudi Arabia will "cooperate with India and neighbouring states" on the matter.
Amid India's efforts to diplomatically isolate Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack, the Saudi Crown Prince had announced investments worth 20 billion dollars during his two-day visit to Islamabad on Monday. He had also ordered the release of about 2,100 Pakistani prisoners during his visit to Islamabad.
The Saudi prince's two-day visit comes nearly three years after PM Modi's visit to Riyadh in 2016, during which the two nations expanded cooperation across diverse areas including trade, investment and counter-terrorism.
From India, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is expected to leave for China. His three-nation tour of South Asia comes five months after a huge diplomatic crisis following the murder of journalist and fierce critic Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.