Pakistan reiterates stand for Saudi Arabia’s security

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is talking to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on September 19, 2019. Khan arrived in the Kingdom on a two-day official visit ahead of his trip to New York where he is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly later this month. (Photo Courtesy: Consulate General of Pakistan Jeddah)
Updated 20 September 2019

Pakistan reiterates stand for Saudi Arabia’s security

  • Pakistani prime minister held meetings with the Saudi leadership during his two-day official visit
  • Saudi leadership reiterated its “steadfast support and solidarity for the Kashmir cause,” PM office said

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan Saudi leadership that his country would stand by Saudi Arabia if the sanctity and security of the holiest Muslim places in the Kingdom were in danger, said the PM Office on Friday.
“Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the recent attacks on oil installations in Abqaiq and Khurais and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to Saudi Arabia against any threat to its security and territorial integrity,” the statement read.
During the visit, Khan held wide-ranging talks with the Saudi leadership. 
Extending a warm welcome to the Prime Minister, the Saudi leadership underscored that the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is based on “real brotherhood,” the PM office said. 
Khan held separate meetings with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
“The two sides underlined the deep and multi-faceted quality of the relationship and reaffirmed the resolve to enrich it further in myriad dimensions,” according to the official handout.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser on Finance Hafeez Sheikh, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood, and PM’s special aide for overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari accompanied the premier.
In meetings with Saudi leadership PM Khan also underscored, in detail, the dire human rights and humanitarian situation in the “Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir and the grave risks posed to peace and security in the aftermath of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August and its irresponsible and belligerent rhetoric and actions.”
“Noting that the indefensible lockdown of over 8 million Kashmiris had continued for 46 days,” Khan stressed the need of urgently lifting the curfew and restrictions, respect for the rights and freedom of Kashmiris, and resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the pivotal role that OIC’s consistent support for the Kashmir cause has played.
“The Saudi leadership expressed concern over the situation and reiterated its steadfast support and solidarity for the Kashmir cause,” the statement said.
On the bilateral plane, the Prime Minister recalled the historic visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan in February 2019 and noted that it had imparted a strong momentum to the growth trajectory of the relationship.
“The two sides reiterated the resolve to further intensify bilateral trade, energy, investment and people-to-people contacts,” the statement said.
Khan also conveyed sincere gratitude for Pakistan’s inclusion in the Road-To-Makkah Project and hoped for its extension to other major cities in Pakistan.
This was Prime Minister Imran Khan’s fourth visit to Saudi Arabia since assuming office in August 2018. His last visit was in May 2019 to attend the 14th Session of the OIC Islamic Summit in Makkah.
Prime Minister office said that the long-standing Pakistan-Saudi fraternal ties are marked by trust, understanding, mutual support and standing by each other.
Saudi Arabia hosts the largest number of Pakistani diaspora anywhere in the world.
Saudi Arabia is among the founding members of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir.
After concluding his visit to the Kingdom, he will continue his journey to New York where he will attend the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the PM Office added.
Governor Makkah Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz received Khan at the Royal Terminal of King Abdulaziz International Airport. Pakistan’s envoy to Saudi Arabia, Raja Ali Ejaz, was also in attendance.

Emirates resumes Pakistan flights for passengers with negative COVID-19 tests

Updated 4 min 53 sec ago

Emirates resumes Pakistan flights for passengers with negative COVID-19 tests

  • Passengers must carry a negative COVID-19 test report from a lab approved by the airline
  • In late June, Emirates suspended its Pakistan flights after some passengers tested positive

ISLAMABAD: Emirates has resumed services to Pakistan after a brief suspension last month, and made coronavirus clearance obligatory for all passengers.

In a statement on Wednesday, the airline said that travelers coming from Pakistan must carry a negative COVID-19 report from a laboratory approved by the airline, where they ought to present their booking reference and passport copy.

They must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test up to four days before departure and present their test result at the time of check-in. 

“Passengers will bear the cost of PCR test and certificate,” the airline clarified.

On June 24, Emirates suspended its Pakistan services after some passengers who traveled to the country tested positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong.

Farhan Ahmed, chief executive of Blue Wings travel agency in Islamabad, told Arab News that Emirates had requested all travel consultants to inform passengers traveling from Pakistan that they would be able to board within 96 hours after receiving negative test results.

In June, Pakistan witnessed a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. As of Thursday, more than 217,800 people were known to have contracted the disease, with over 4,300 new infections reported in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed.

Nearly 4,500 Pakistanis have died from the virus and 2,700 are in critical condition. Over 104,600 are known to have recovered.