Pakistani politicians, analysts appreciate Saudi Crown Prince’s stance on regional peace

An undated file photo of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in which he can be seen attending a gathering. (AP)
Updated 19 June 2019
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Pakistani politicians, analysts appreciate Saudi Crown Prince’s stance on regional peace

  • The Crown Prince’s recent statement reflects his wisdom and restraint, says Senator Sehar Kamran
  • International community must act to defuse situation in the Middle East, maintains senior analyst Zahid Hussain

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s major political parties and analysts on Monday appreciated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s statement that the Kingdom did not want a war in the Middle East.
In an interview last week, the Crown Prince also called for a decisive international position against Iran.
“At this very critical moment, the demonstration of restraint by the Saudi Crown Prince is very much appreciated. This shows his wisdom and rationale,” Senator Sehar Kamran of the Pakistan Peoples Party told Arab News, adding: “I believe the entire world will applaud the statement. We must give peace a chance and support efforts for political solution to all outstanding issues.”
“The international community can play an important role in reminding Iran of the consequences [of war] and help initiate a dialogues process to prevent further escalation of tensions in the region,” she continued.
Kamran said the recent attack on a Saudi oil tanker was a serious issue and must be strongly condemned.
“Every nation has the right to protect its sovereignty and national assets,” she noted. “Iran must act as a responsible state. A transparent investigation of the attack by the United Nations and collective wisdom on the issue will be the best option.”
Echoing her sentiment, Romina Khurshid Alam of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party also welcomed the Crown Prince’s statement.

“Our party leadership has always advocated for peace in the region and supports Pakistan’s role as a mediator to resolve all outstanding issues,” she said.
Omar Sarfraz Cheema, the central information secretary of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, told Arab News that “the PTI strongly condemns attacks on Saudi facilities by Houthis.”
He recalled that the Pakistani leadership had expressed its desire to play a mediator’s role for peace and stability in the Middle East.
Last week, Cheema told Arab News that Prime Minister Imran Khan had already urged the Houthis to engage in “meaningful dialogue” with Saudi Arabia to resolve the conflict. “This is a divisive issue for the whole Muslim world and should be resolved through negotiations,” he added.
“Peace is essential for the development of countries in the Middle East,” former Pakistani ambassador Rizwan-ul-Haq told Arab News. “Any country which upsets the tranquility and peace of the region must be invited to explain its position to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and asked to change its stance in a unanimous and decisive way.”
“We should sit together with transgressors and find a diplomatic solution before resorting to extreme measures,” he added.
Veteran Pakistani political commentator Zahid Hussain said that “the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf and oil facilities in the Kingdom have created a serious security situation in the Middle East and there is an urgent need for the international community to act and defuse the situation.”
“The Crown Prince is right that war is not an option,” he added.


Saudi Cabinet reviews, stresses commitment to Hajj services

Updated 1 min 32 sec ago
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Saudi Cabinet reviews, stresses commitment to Hajj services

  • Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program has benefited over 52,000 pilgrims
  • ‘Road to Makkah’ project an extension of services for Pakistani Hajj pilgrims

ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday reviewed topics related to the services provided to Hajj pilgrims, and to the service of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Chaired by King Salman, the Cabinet discussed his directive to host thousands of pilgrims from all over the world each year as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah.
The program has benefited more than 52,000 pilgrims since its inception in 1996.
Media Minister Turki Al-Shabanah said the opening of water projects in Makkah and the holy sites reflects the Saudi leadership’s care and attention, SPA reported.
The opening of the water projects, which cost a total of more than SR1.3 billion ($346.6 million), coincides with this year’s pilgrimage season, to the benefit of pilgrims from around the world.
As one of Saudi Arabia’s most long-standing allies, Pakistan has particularly benefitted from Saudi Arabia’s commitment to Hajj services.
As an extension of services provided to Pakistani Hajj pilgrims this year, the Road to Makkah project was initiated in the country and aims to facilitate the 200,000 people expected to perform the obligatory religious ritual. It was during Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s February visit to Islamabad, that Prime Minister Imran Khan had requested him to include Pakistan in the project.
For this purpose, before the commencement of Hajj flights from Pakistan earlier this month, a team of Saudi officials arrived in the country to set up a pre-departure immigration system at Islamabad International Airport which significantly cuts down waiting times for pilgrims once they land in Saudi Arabia. The program is expected to be extended to other major airports in Pakistan in the years to come. 
This year alone, nearly 30,000 Pakistani pilgrims are expected to benefit from the facility. 
In addition to this, services to Pakistani pilgrims include a state-of-the-art Pakistan Hajj medical mission with 180 doctors, two hospitals and 18 ambulances.