Pakistan PM congratulates Saudi Arabia on National Day

This file photo shows Saudi King Salman, left, greeting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Jeddah on Sept. 19, 2018. (Handout/Center for International Communication (CIC) via AFP)
Updated 30 September 2018
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Pakistan PM congratulates Saudi Arabia on National Day

  • Khan acknowledged that Saudi Arabia stood by Pakistan’s side through thick and think for which the government and the people of Pakistan are highly indebted
  • In his message of felicitation to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other members of the Saudi royal family, Khan said the people of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are linked through religious and brotherly ties

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday congratulated the Saudi leadership and people on the Kingdom’s 88th National Day.
Khan expressed best wishes to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other members of the royal family.
“The progress, development and stability of Saudi Arabia is a heartfelt sentiment of every Pakistani,” Khan said. “The strength of Saudi Arabia is the strength of the Muslim Ummah (nation).”
The Kingdom has always stood by Pakistan in difficult times, and the government and people of Pakistan acknowledge and appreciate that, he added.
On Sept. 18, Khan traveled to Saudi Arabia on his first official visit abroad since becoming prime minister, meeting with the king and crown prince and reviewing bilateral relations.
The visit “helped open a new chapter of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, which would benefit the entire region,” Khan said in his congratulatory message.
Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also congratulated the Saudi king and crown prince on their country’s National Day.


Pakistan ready to respond to a full spectrum threat — army spokesman

Updated 33 min 55 sec ago
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Pakistan ready to respond to a full spectrum threat — army spokesman

  • Prepared to counter any attack from Indian security forces
  • Warns New Delhi against action; says Islamabad “would surprise you”

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor warned India on Friday against any military action, saying that should New Delhi “show any aggression,” it would be Islamabad that would “surprise you”. 
He added in the same breath that “we do not wish to go to war”.
In his statement — which was in response to growing threats from its nuclear-armed neighbor — the spokesperson said that Islamabad was prepared to respond to a “full spectrum threat” without enabling its nuclear capability.
“Pakistan is not preparing for war. War and revenge threats are coming from you. We are a sovereign state and hold the right to respond to your threats. We are not preparing to initiate, but response and defense is our right and we will exercise that,” he said, adding that he hoped India “got the message”.
Ghafoor said Islamabad delayed its response to the Pulwama attack to investigate New Delhi’s baseless claims of state-sponsored terrorism to ascertain the veracity of the allegations, following which Prime Minister Imran Khan responded in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday wherein he rejected the assertion and warned New Delhi of retaliation if attacked.
He said that Khan has offered to assist India in investigating the attack if it can back its claims and would take strict measures against the person who is “an enemy of Pakistan”, an offer Ghafoor said has been given before as well. He added that “terrorism is a regional problem and Pakistan is willing to table talks with India on the matter”.
Ghafoor made the comments at a press briefing which came a week after a deadly suicide attack in the Pulwama district of Indian-administered Kashmir. The attack killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel and left scores injured.
Listing terror incidents of the past in India or Indian-administered Kashmir, Ghafoor said there is a pattern of occurrences of this nature adding that “when an important event for Pakistan is scheduled to happen, this type of stage action arises”.
The brazen bombing came before eight very important engagements for Pakistan, Ghafoor explained connecting India’s previous attempts to paint Pakistan as the sponsor of terrorism, hold its western neighbor responsible and push it toward diplomatic isolation.
“Saudi Crown Prince was due in Pakistan to hold a (historic) investment conference, talks on terror listing at United Nations Security Council was scheduled, development on Afghan peace reconciliation process was underway, discussions on human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir at the European Union was due, the decisive hearing of (Indian spy) Kulbushan Jhadav case at the world court, a discussion on Financial Action Task Force was to take place for a decision on Pakistan, both sides (India and Pakistan) were to hold a meeting on the Kartarpur border crossing development, and Pakistan super league cricket matches [in which foreign players are participating] had begun,” he said.
The military spokesman questioned how cross border infiltration could have happened when the number of Indian security forces is larger than the population of Kashmiris. “India should ask its forces which have been there for seven decades and spent a huge quantum on defense, how infiltration occurred?” he said.
“The attack happened miles from the Line of Control (LoC), the explosives used were under use by Indian security forces and administration – it didn’t come from Pakistan. The vehicle used was local, not from Pakistan. The attack [was carried out ] by the young Kashmiri, who was resident of Indian-administered Kashmir,” Ghafoor said.
He added that Pakistan is the only country in the world that has not let terrorism take control of its narrative and has given ample sacrifices to counter it. He cited the example of Islamabad helping other nations eliminate Al Qaeda from Afghanistan.
Kashmir, he said, is the biggest issue of the region and offered India to resume talks on the matter. Being the world’s largest democracy, India needs “introspection” on the Kashmir issue and two democracies can’t afford war, he said.