RIYADH – Pakistani Controversial defense analyst and TV anchor Zaid Hamid has reportedly been sentenced for eight years in prison and 1000 lashes by a Saudi court for criticizing the country’s government, unconfirmed local media reports have claimed.
According to the details, he was detained while on a private visit to the Kingdom with his wife and arrested on speaking against the Saudi government and their policies mainly on war on terror.
On June 26, the Foreign Office confirmed Hamid had been arrested in Saudi Arabia.
During a press briefing in Islamabad, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said that “Our embassy in Riyadh has informed us that Mr. Zaid Hamid was arrested about two weeks ago. Since then, the embassy has been working with the local authorities to get consular access.”
He also said that “Due to the efforts of the embassy, his wife was able to talk to him. Again, due to the efforts of the embassy, his wife will be able to meet with him on 30 June.”
In 2013, a former aide who left Hamid’s organization accused him of being on the payrolls of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) to wage psychological operations against those opposed to the Pakistani security establishment.
Through one of his TV programs, He claimed that a nexus between India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Israel’s Mossad and the US’ Central Investigative Agency (CIA) was responsible for the destabilization of Pakistan.
He also alleged that the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai were part of a plan hatched by ‘Hindu Zionists’.
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