India must intervene immediately to secure the early release of its citizens from Saudi authorities
Only a Pakistani newspaper has covered it. In yesterday’s editorial Lahore’s Daily Times mentions that Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested more than 100 people for “illegal activities in Jeddah”. Why should this concern the government, the media and the people of India? Because, a majority of the arrested people are Indian citizens. And what was the “illegal activity” they were engaged in? Praying, or at worst, peaching their belief. These were members of the Qadiani (Ahmadiyya) sect: free to pursue their faith in India, but prosecuted as non-Muslim “deceivers” by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Arabian authorities acted in accordance with their official policy. It is baffling why the Indian government and the media have demonstrated a deafening silence about the matter? Where are the self-professed champions of the minorities—and the Qadiani/Ahmadiyyas are a minority within a minority—hiding?
The matter is clear-cut as far as the Indian government goes. If the Daily Times report is accurate and the arrested people are indeed Indian nationals, the government of India should first extend them immediate consular assistance. Next, it should spare no effort in securing their immediate release and repatriation. India has a responsibility to protect the lives of its citizens abroad, in this case the victims of Saudi Arabian religious intolerance.