Saudi Arabia has deported around 39,000 Pakistani nationals in the past four months for violating visa rules, Saudi Gazette reported on Tuesday. Officials told the newspaper that several Pakistani nationals were held in the Kingdom for drug trafficking, thefts, physical assault and forgery.

Quoting unidentified officials, the newspaper said a number of Pakistani nationals were involved in “terrorist activities” organised by the “so-called Islamic State”, which has been a cause of worry. Chairman of the Security Committee of the Shoura Council Abdullah Al-Sadoun had called for a thorough scrutiny of Pakistanis before they enter the Saudi for work.

Sadoun also said the political and religious inclinations of the Pakistanis coming to Saudi “should be known to both the sides”, the report said. He said Pakistan was plagued with terrorism owing to its close proximity with Afghanistan. “The Taliban extremist movement was itself born in Pakistan,” he said.

At least 82 Pakistani suspects of terror and security issues are currently in the country’s prisons, according to the data provided by the Saudi Interior Ministry. As many as 15 Pakistanis were arrested following recent terrorist operations in Jeddah, the ministry added.

A report by the International Labour Organisation had revealed last year that 131,643 Pakistani migrants were deported from Saudi between 2012-15. Most individuals who were deported were job seekers and entrepreneurs.