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International Affairs

What made Saudi Crown Prince’s Visit to Pakistan so Special

 Amer Malik/Islamabad 

Crown Prince ends Pakistan’s successful visit by inking seven MoUs worth of $20 billion

Mohammad bin Salman orders release of 2,107 prisoners from Saudi jails

Pakistan’s confers the highest civil award on Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have signed seven wide-ranging Memorandums-of-Understanding (MoUs) worth over $20 billion in the first phase that marks “beginning of a large and long-term economic cooperation between the two countries”.

Saudi Arab will invest amounting to $21 billion in one to five years including RLNG plants worth of $4 billion; ACWA Power’s investment in renewable energy worth of $2 billion; Saudi Fund for Pakistan to make investment of $1 billion; petrochemical projects amounting to $1 billion; food and agriculture projects investment of $1 billion; Aramco Oil Refinery to make investment of $10 billion and Mineral Development Sector’s investment worth of $2 billion.

“We believe in Pakistan and its potential to become a huge economy next to China and India’s economy,” said Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman before he left Pakistan after a two days’ successful visit of Pakistan.

He said that this initial commitment of $20 billion investment was just a beginning as he vowed to do more and more economic cooperation in the future. “We risk our money as we believe Pakistan has a huge potential of becoming a bigger economy, especially as great leadership to put Pakistan on track to become an economic power,” said the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman while making a remark that he feels at home in Pakistan.

Earlier on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s request, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners languishing in different Saudi prisons. It was confirmed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in their separate tweets on Monday.

President of Pakistan Arif Alvi conferred Pakistan’s highest civilian honor – Nishan-e-Pakistan – on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman due to his “outstanding support for reinvigorating Pak-Saudi bilateral relationship” at the President’s House in Islamabad.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia’s relations have gone beyond narrow confines mutual relationship, expanding in other spheres for mutual cooperation. “This is just the beginning,” said Imran Khan.

He thanked His Highness Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman for ordering the release of over 2100 prisoners in Saudi jails. “As I opened my mobile this morning, I was surprised to see Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s popularity among Pakistanis on social media after His Highness’s statement to “consider me as Pakistan’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia”. I will not be surprised if you contest the election in Pakistan and gain more votes than me,” Imran Khan expressed his opinion regarding his experience of Crown Prince’s visit to Pakistan, while asking him to consider Pakistan as your second home before seeing him off at the airport.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other political, military and civil leadership bade farewell to KSA’s heir-apparent at Nur Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi on Monday.

Earlier, Crown Prince thanked Pakistan for honoring him with Pakistan’s highest civilian award. “The brotherly relationship between Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan goes back 67 years based on the principle of Islamic solidarity. “Our Pakistani brothers participated truthfully and effectively in the great development project that Saudi Arabia witnessed, especially the enlargement project of Masjid-e-Haram and Masjid-e-Nabvi.

More than 2 million Pakistanis are working in Saudi Arabia and are contributing to the development of both the countries,” Crown Prince said.

President Arif Alvi said that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have been indispensable partners for a very long time. “We have been together for centuries. Our friendship is bound in religion and culture. We are on the cusp of an era where there could be an increase in prosperity for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” he said.

During his two days’ stay in Islamabad, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman also met with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and a delegation of lawmakers led by Chairman Senate of Pakistan Sadiq Sanjrani.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry tweeted about the meeting and said, “During the meeting, they discussed the ongoing cooperation between the two countries in the fields of defense.”

Earlier, the Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Imran Khan had arrived at the President House in a traditional chariot escorted by the presidential guard on their way from the PM House to the President House. As was the case when Crown Prince had arrived a day earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan personally drove the car carrying the Saudi Crown Prince to Prime Minister’s House – also the venue of his stay in Islamabad.

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