Saudi Arabia has signed investment agreements worth 20 billion dollars with Pakistan. Both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have walked together in tough and good times, and will continue to do so, said the crown prince.
The crown prince announced a far higher investment than expected in Pakistan, the investments worth 20 billion dollars is only the start of an economic tie-up that would bring the historic Muslim allies even closer.
“It’s big for phase 1, and definitely it will grow every month and every year, and it will be beneficial to both countries. We have been a brotherly country, a friendly country to Pakistan. We’ve walked together in tough and good times, and we (will) continue,” said the Crown Prince Salman.
Saudi Prince Mohammed’s visit is at risk by Pakistan’s growing tensions with India. Recently, a suicide bomber killed 44 Indian paramilitary police in the disputed Kashmir region. India has accused Pakistan of having involvement in the bombing and pledged to punish Islamabad, which denies involvement.
Prime Minister Imran Khan sitting next to Prince Mohammed said: “Saudi Arabia has always been a friend in need, which is why we value it so much. I want to thank you for the way you helped us when we were in a bad situation.”
Recently, Saudi Arabia has helped keep Pakistan’s economy afloat by supporting its rapidly dwindling foreign exchange reserves with a $6 billion loan. As per analysts, the Saudi Prince visit is seen as an attempt to restore his reputation after the murder of Saudi critic and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The crown prince is also expected to visit Indonesia and Malaysia but according to Malaysian and Indonesian officials, the trips have been postponed.
In the past, two nations’ relationship has centered on oil-rich Saudi Arabia backing Pakistan’s economy during difficult periods, and in return Pakistan’s powerful army extending support to Saudi Arabia and its royal family. Mosharraf Zaidi, Senior Fellow at Tabadlab, a Pakistani think tank focused on global and local public policy said: “What is happening in this relationship is a renewal of Pakistan’s commitment to helping protect the royal family and the order as it exists in Saudi Arabia”.
“On the flip side, there is reassurance that Saudi Arabia will not only continue to serve as a strategic friend who will help shore up Pakistan’s finances when needed, but it’s also going to become a participant in the wider investment in Pakistan,” Zaidi added.
The Pakistani government and militant sources also informed about Prince Mohammed meet with the representatives of the Afghan Taliban militant group to discuss peace negotiations to end the 17-year civil war in Afghanistan. However, the meet was postponed as per a statement released by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
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