Islamabad photo exhibition pans the camera on Pakistan-Saudi ties

Senate chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, center, along with Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, inaugurated an exhibition organized by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy: PID)
Updated 13 February 2019
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Islamabad photo exhibition pans the camera on Pakistan-Saudi ties

  • Event was inaugurated by Senate chairman ahead of Saudi crown prince’s visit
  • Islamabad and Riyadh enjoy a multi-faceted and deep-rooted cooperation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Senate chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani on Tuesday inaugurated a photography exhibition which throws light on the historic relations between Islamabad and Riyadh, a statement released by his office said.
The exhibition, organized by the Saudi embassy in Islamabad, seeks to highlight their longstanding bilateral ties. 
Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, and leader of the house in the Senate, Senator Shibli Faraz, were also present on the occasion. 
The exhibition highlighted different development projects undertaken by Saudi Arabia in Pakistan. 
While talking to reporters after the ceremony, Sanjrani said that the Pak-Saudi ties are ‘deep-rooted’ and that the two countries will continue to work for the betterment of Muslims around the world. He also lauded the Kingdom for investing heavily in Pakistan, adding that the move would open new doors for employment opportunities.
The exhibition was inaugurated just days ahead of a scheduled visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman who is set to arrive in Islamabad over the weekend.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sanjrani also held a meeting with ex-army chief General Raheel Sharif who is the top commander of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC).
A statement released by his office quoted him as saying that “the coalition is not against any state, nation or a particular sect. However, it aims to counter-terrorism and eliminate it by further augmenting the ongoing efforts.”
“Terrorism has no place in any religion or belief and peaceful coexistence is the only way forward to expedite the pace for regional development and making the world a better place to live,” it added.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy multi-faceted cooperation in diverse fields which has been cemented by recent efforts to enhance bilateral ties.


Pakistan gets ready to woo Saudi crown prince

Updated 57 min 3 sec ago
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Pakistan gets ready to woo Saudi crown prince

  • Pakistan is collecting 3,500 pigeons and colorful balloons to release during a welcome ceremony for Saudi Crown Prince
  • Pakistan expects to sign multiple investment deals and other agreements during the two-day visit

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan was rescheduling flights, blocking-off luxury hotels, and — according to one report Friday — collecting 3,500 pigeons and colorful balloons to release during a welcome ceremony for Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Islamabad is hoping to sign a raft of investment deals and other agreements during the two-day visit, which begins Saturday and will include talks with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and the powerful army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Banners heralding the crown prince were already lining the streets of the capital Friday, while the Express Tribune newspaper reported that authorities were trying to catch so many pigeons for a welcome ceremony that they were forced to collect birds from other cities.
Police, the armed forces, and the Saudi Royal Guards will provide security, a senior Islamabad police official told AFP.
The capital’s “red zone,” which houses Parliament House and the Presidency, was to be sealed off, while civil aviation authorities have been told to reschedule flights during the prince’s arrival and departure.
Authorities in the capital said two five-star hotels had been ordered to cancel all advance bookings as the rooms will be reserved for the prince’s entourage.
Earlier in the week local media reported that the crown prince’s personal belongings — including luxury vehicles and his own gym — were flown to Pakistan in two C130 airplanes.
The visit came as regional tensions spiked after neighboring India accused Islamabad of harboring militants behind a deadly attack in Indian-administered Kashmir.
At least 41 paramilitary troops were killed in a suicide blast Thursday, with Indian media reporting that the Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility.
Saudi Arabia is reportedly preparing to sign a record investment package with Pakistan, including a $10-billion refinery and oil complex for the strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.
Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman said Islamabad is seeking to sign a number of other deals, including one “combating organized crime.”
Khan has been courting its Gulf allies for months as he seeks to stave off an ongoing balance of payments crisis and reduce the size of any potential bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have together offered Islamabad some $30 billion in investment and loans.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are also participating in talks with the US and other countries seeking to bring the Taliban to the table for peace negotiations with Kabul after more than 17 years of war.
The Taliban have claimed their representatives will visit Islamabad on Monday, after Salman leaves.