Pakistani leaders call attack on Saudi oil facilities attack on Pakistan

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A picture taken on May 13, 2019 off the coast of the Gulf emirate of Fujairah shows reporters taking images of the Saudi oil tanker Al-Marzoqah, one of the four tankers damaged in alleged "sabotage attacks" in the Gulf the previous day. Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were damaged in mysterious "sabotage attacks" in the Gulf as tensions soared in a region already shaken by a standoff between the United States and Iran. (Source - Emirati National Media Council)
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An oil tanker is being loaded at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia on May 21, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 15 May 2019

Pakistani leaders call attack on Saudi oil facilities attack on Pakistan

  • "This is sheer act of terrorism," ruling party lawmaker Vawda says
  • Attack on two oil pumping stations by bomb-carrying drones caused a fire, now contained

ISLAMABAD: Major Pakistani political parties on Tuesday condemned an attack on two Saudi oil pumping stations by bomb-carrying drones, just days after four tankers were attacked at anchor off the UAE coast, saying the enemies of Saudi Arabia were tantamount to being the enemies of Pakistan.

The energy minister of the world’s largest oil exporter said the attack caused a fire, now contained, and minor damage at one pump station, but did not disrupt oil output or exports of crude and petroleum products.

Saudi Aramco later confirmed the attack in a statement, stating that it had “responded to a fire at East West Pipeline Pump station 8 which was caused by a sabotage incident using armed drones which targeted pump stations 8 and 9.”

Federal minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Faisal Vawda condemned the attack and said Pakistan, itself a major victim of terrorism, would stand by the Kingdom.

"This is sheer act of terrorism which should be strongly condemned by the world community," he said.  "We have strong bonds with Saudi Arabia and have always been on its side whenever terrorists have tried to destabilize it."

“Attacking Saudi Arabia is like attacking Pakistan,” opposition Pakistan Peoples Party leader Senator Sehar Kamran told Arab News. “Saudi Aramco recently announced it would establish a $10 bn oil refinery in Pakistan. This is a huge investment. Attacking Aramco is not only an attack on Saudi Arabia’s interests but also the interests of Pakistan.”

“Pakistan stands with the Saudi Arabia as per our commitment that Pakistan will always stand by the kingdom,” she said, calling on Muslim states united agains forces that wanted to harm Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader Senator Mushahidullah Khan called for an investigation into the attack.

“Saudi Aramco is investing in Pakistan. Some forces don’t want the region to prosper,” he said, calling it part of a greater game against the development and prosperity of the region.

“These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran,” Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid A. Al-Falih said in comments to the media.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis militia for four years in Yemen to try to restore the internationally recognised government.

Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami party’s secretary foreign affairs, Abdul Ghaffar Aziz, said Houthi rebels in Yemen had already done serious damage to the region and its people by revolting against an elected government.  

“They had attacked oil tankers a few days ago,” Aziz said. “Now this attack is like playing with fire as such attacks can ignite a dangerous war in the region.”

What is pulling Pakistan’s currency six feet under?

Updated 41 min 48 sec ago

What is pulling Pakistan’s currency six feet under?

  • Arab News hits the money trade markets to ask what factors are pushing the rupee down
  • Traders, businessmen, and citizens in a state of panic triggered by a dollar frenzy

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s rupee reached a new record low this week, selling at 153 against the dollar in the interbank market on Monday, continuing a slide that saw it lose more than 5 percent last week in the wake of a $6 billion loan accord with the International Monetary Fund.
Almost ten days after the new IMF accord, money traders are still uncertain which direction Pakistan’s currency will move. Some expect it will eventually stabilze while others are pessimistic about its future. But most traders, businessmen, and citizens across the country remain in a state of panic triggered by the dollar frenzy. 
Arab News hit the money trade markets in Islamabad to gauge the gravity of the situation and explore prime factors pulling Pakistan’s currency six feet under.