Pakistan, KSA set to ink multi-billion dollar Aramco oil refinery deal

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A 15-member Saudi delegation visited Gwadar the port city in Balochistan on Wednesday as part of the finalization process of MoU for the Aramco oil refinery. (Photo courtesy: Saudi Embassy in Islamabad)
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Pakistani authorities expect to sign a number of investment deals including the construction of mega oil refinery during the upcoming visit of Saudi crown prince to Pakistan. (Photo courtesy: Saudi Embassy in Islamabad)
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A 15-member Saudi delegation visited Gwadar the port city in Balochistan as part of the finalization process of MoU for the Aramco oil refinery. (Photo courtesy: Saudi Embassy in Islamabad)
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Pakistani authorities are briefing visiting delegation of Saudi Arabia at Gwadar, Balochistan. (Photo courtesy: Board of Investment)
Updated 05 January 2019
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Pakistan, KSA set to ink multi-billion dollar Aramco oil refinery deal

  • MoU for construction of mega oil refinery will be inked in February, says information minister
  • Pakistan expects $15 billion investment from Saudi Arabia in the next 3 years

KARACHI: Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have finalized the Memorandum of Understand (MoU) for the construction of multi-billion dollar Saudi Aramco oil refinery in Gwadar deep seaport city, located in Balochistan province, officials said on Thursday.
Pakistan is expecting to sign a number of investment deals including the construction of mega oil refinery in the month of February in the presence of a high-level Saudi delegation, confirmed Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. 
“The oil refinery project is the biggest investment project of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan,” he added.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have lately expressed renewed interest in enhancing bilateral strategic and trade engagements while the Kingdom also pledged $3 billion in a financial assistant to help Pakistan out of its economic woes. 
“A 15-member delegation of Saudi Arabia visited Gwadar from Karachi as part of the finalization process of the MoU for Aramco oil refinery,” Haroon Sharif, Minister of State and Chairman of Pakistan Board of Investment (BoI), told Arab News.
“We have finalized the MoU for the construction of Aramco oil refinery,” Sharif said adding that “overall directions have been agreed upon and the agreement will be signed at an ‘appropriate time’.”
Pakistani authorities expect $15 billion investment from Saudi Arabia after Prime minister Imran Khan chose the Kingdom for his maiden visit and consequently made two official visits.
Earlier, the BoI chief had said that “We are going to sign MoUs with Saudi Aramco and Acwa Power within few weeks. Saudi Aramco is going to set up oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Pakistan while Acwa Power will invest in Pakistan renewable energy sector”, Sharif informed.
As part of the investment plan, the Saudi Aramco will construct petrochemical complex housing multi-billion dollar oil refinery.
“I am expecting around $15 billion investment from Saudi Arabia in the next 3 years. The inflow of investment for oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Pakistan is estimated to be between $6 billion to $10 billion,” BoI Chairman told Arab News. 
Pakistan hopes to attract more than $40 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the next five years. “We estimate that roughly around $40 billion investment will be made by these three countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, and China) in the next three to five years,” Sharif had told Arab New during his recent interview. 
During the recent visit of the Saudi delegation to Gwadar, the Chairman of Gwadar Port Authority, Dostain Khan Jamaldini, on Wednesday gave a briefing about the current developments including the port, progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar Master Plan.


‘They have crushed our voices’, Kashmiris on not being allowed to pray

Updated 20 min 52 sec ago
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‘They have crushed our voices’, Kashmiris on not being allowed to pray

  • More than 3,000 people have been arrested from different parts of the valley, media reports
  • Most of the big mosques have been shutdown to avoid people amassing for a large congregation

SRINAGAR, Kashmir: A strange silence engulfs Kashmir valley three weeks after the abrogation of the Article 370 that ensured a special autonomous status for Jammu and Kashmir in the Indian union.
This is the silence enforced by the fear of the gun after arrests of a large number of politicians, activists, lawyers, businessmen, and commoners.
“I have been summoned at least four times by the Indian troops and harassed, barring me from offering my prayers. I requested them, explaining that no one indulges in agitation in this area...” Hafiz Altaf Ahmed Shah, an imam at the local mosque told Arab News.
Media reports suggest that more than 3,000 people have been arrested from different parts of the valley and put in special detention centers in the semi-autonomous state or outside.
For those spared or lucky to avoid arrest, a lurking danger looms if they resist – be it a cleric or a professor, male or female, exercising restraint is the only option left.
In Srinagar and outside, most of the big mosques have been shutdown to avoid people amassing for a large congregation – a potential recipe for resistance.
“Our three story mosque is usually at full capacity but today, only 10 to 12 people offered Friday prayers because of the curfew,” Shah said.
Small and medium-sized mosques are under constant vigil. The clerics of these mosques have been ordered to lie low and not lead prayers in their mosques.
“We are being subjected to injustice by the Indian government and the world is aware. But no one is speaking on these issues. They have shut down our communication. They have silenced and crushed our voices,” Shah said.
Watch this exclusive video by Arab News to get a sense of what’s happening in the area.