(MENAFN - Arab News) A special fund has been set up by the Pakistani Embassy in Riyadh with the cooperation of its community to help needy compatriots, Pakistan Ambassador Muhammad Naeem Khan announced here on Thursday.
The envoy was speaking at a reception hosted in his honor by the Pakistan ladies club, Humnawa, in the capital. The ambassador's wife Anila Naeem Khan was also present.
"I am proud that I have been able to set up the fund with the help of the community in aid of deserving members, who seek the mission's assistance from time to time for various purposes," he said, adding that the fund helps a large number of distressed Pakistanis living in the central region.
Three members from the community have been appointed to manage the funds with the approval of the head of the Pakistani Embassy.
He said the mission hosts a regular open house session on Tuesdays to enable distressed community members to seek the assistance of the mission to redress their grievances.
Commenting on Saudi-Pakistan bilateral relations, he said: "The Saudi leadership has a soft corner for Pakistanis and we value that very much; our relationship is built on solid cultural, political and religious understanding over the decade."
Touching upon the recently concluded Saudi amnesty program, he said the mission was able to process the documents of 850,000 Pakistanis, enabling them to rectify their employment status.
The ambassador described the run-up to the inspection raids as the greatest challenge in his 32-year-old career.
"I used all my powers, and even over-stepped some of them, when I helped my compatriots overcome the problems they were facing in relation to correcting their status. But when I look back I feel satisfied and proud that I was able to do the right things," he added.
He also thanked the Saudi authorities for their assistance in the implementation of the program.
The envoy donated SR15,000 to the club as a token of appreciation for the services it rendered to the community.
In her welcome speech, Bilqis Safder - incumbent president of Humnawa - mentioned that the new Humnawa team, which was elected on Feb. 21, is currently involved in a number of welfare activities with a focus on serving the community.
She added that the reception was organized in appreciation of the yeoman services rendered by the envoy and his wife Anila to ameliorate the living conditions of distressed Pakistanis living in the Kingdom.