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April 22, 2019
Political News

Imran Khan calls on Saudi Monarch During his first Official Foreign Visit

Lahore City

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, whose party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf – Movement for Justice – won the majority in the General Elections 2018, landed in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for a 2-day visit on the invitation of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz. Earlier, during a telephonic conversation with the newly elected premier, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman had congratulated Mr Khan on forming government and invited him to visit the Kingdom.

The 65-year old is on his first official foreign visit after assuming charge as the Prime Minister on August 18, 2018. And what better place to visit than Medina; Medina holds a special place in Muslims’ hearts all across the globe. Mr. Khan landed bare-footed in Medina to uphold the sacredness of the land and was received by the Governor of Medina Shahzada Faisal bin Salman.

The cricketer-turned-politician visited Prophet Muhammad’s grave (S.A.W.) before flying to Jeddah where he met with the Crown Prince and the Saudi Monarch. Mr. Khan along with a few of his Cabinet members including the Finance Minister Asad Umar, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary were to discuss the matters of bilateral interests with their counterparts in the high-profile meetings. Mr. Khan received a royal guard of honor amidst the echoes of Pakistani national anthem while meeting with the Monarch.

Mr. Khan was quite clear about the harmony among the Muslim nations saying, “There should not be any conflict in the Muslim world. Pakistan would like to play a role of putting out these fires”.

While there are speculations of financial aid request by the Pakistani government from its close ally KSA instead of turning to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. However, there is no official word about the financial aid request yet. Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen also held a meeting with the premier and his delegate.

The two countries enjoy very close relations especially in terms of the security. Pakistan’s former Army Chief General Raheel Sharif is currently leading the Saudi-led military alliance of Muslim countries called the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC). Every year, millions of pilgrims from Pakistan visit the Holy Makkah and Medina for Hajj and Umrah.

Mr. Khan and his team would leave for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to meet with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The delegates will discuss matters of bilateral interests as UAE and Pakistan have always enjoyed strong relations for a long time.

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The Herald Report