William and Kate tour historic city of Lahore on day 4 of royal visit

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Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore on Oct. 17, 2019. (Pool via REUTERS)
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Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit SOS Children's village in Lahore, Pakistan October 17, 2019. (Reuters)
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Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit SOS Children's village in Lahore, Pakistan October 17, 2019. (Reuters)
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Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, pose for a family photo with the officials and children participants of the British Council's DOSTI (friendship) program at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, Pakistan October 17, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 18 October 2019

William and Kate tour historic city of Lahore on day 4 of royal visit

  • They interacted with children at the SOS Village
  • The royal couple won hearts by playing cricket at the National Cricket Academy

ISLAMABAD: Prince William and Kate Middleton, continue their tour of Pakistan today in the eastern city of Lahore — the cultural hub of the country.

The royal couple was received by Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and other dignitaries at Lahore Airport.




Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Lahore, Pakistan October 17, 2019. (Reuters)

From the airport, they went to the SOS Children’s Village where they interacted with the children. The duchess also addressed a ceremony at the SOS facility.




Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit SOS Children's village in Lahore, Pakistan October 17, 2019. (Reuters)




Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit SOS Children's village in Lahore, Pakistan October 17, 2019. (Reuters)

The royal couple was all smiles celebrating a child’s birthday there.




Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit SOS Children's village in Lahore, Pakistan October 17, 2019. (Reuters)

The pair then visited the National Cricket Academy where they were welcomed by Pakistan’s famous former cricketer Wasim Akram, who currently heads the Pakistan Cricket Board. Several cricketers including Azhar Ali, Sana Mir, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, and Waqar Younus were also there to welcome the royal couple.




Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, shake hands with children participants of the British Council's DOSTI (friendship) program at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, Pakistan October 17, 2019. (Reuters)




Britain's Prince William plays a shot during his visit at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, Pakistan October 17, 2019. (Reuters)




Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits the National Cricket academy in Lahore, Pakistan. October 17, 2019. (Reuters)

The duo won hearts by playing cricket with the cricketers and young children. The Pakistani officials presented cricket bats to the royal couple as presents for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Prince William and Kate also visited the historic Badshahi Mosque in Lahore’s Walled City.




Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan October 17, 2019. (Reuters)

Kensington Palace confirmed on social media that the pair will be meeting with patients at Shaukat Khan Hospital, the posted a vintage shot of the late Princess Diana doing the very same thing.

 

“In 1996 and 1997 Diana, Princess of Wales visited the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, a state-of-the-art cancer facility located in the center of Lahore,” wrote Kensington Palace on their official Instagram page under the photo of Diana with a patient at Shaukat Khanum. “Over twenty years on, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit the children’s ward at the hospital today.”




Kensington Palace shares a shot of the late Lady Diana on a visit to Shaukat Khanum. The Royal visited Shaukat Khanum as a guest of Imran Khan and then-wife Jemima Goldsmith in 1996 and 1997 (Image via Kensington Royal Instagram)

So far, the Duke and Duchess have maintained their goal to meet with Pakistani people, experiencing various cultures that exist within Pakistan.

During the visit to Pakistan’s mountainous Chitral District, they were given a detailed briefing on glacial melting, climate change and its causes and impact on fragile and remote communities, the British High Commission said.




Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the Chiatibo glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range in the Chitral District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan on Oct. 16, 2019. (Reuters)

They also traveled to Bumburet, home to the iconic Kalash tribe to experience the rich culture and history of the area.




Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit a settlement of the Kalash people in Chitral, Pakistan, October 16, 2019. (Reuters)

 


Saudi team meets Pakistani health officials to expedite work on new hospital 

Updated 36 min 51 sec ago

Saudi team meets Pakistani health officials to expedite work on new hospital 

  •  200-bed first ever tertiary care hospital being jointly built by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in rural Islamabad
  • Saudi Arabia building hospital as “gift to people of Pakistan” through Saudi Fund for Development,” Saudi ambassador says 

ISLAMABAD: A Saudi delegation met with top officials of Pakistan’s health ministry late last week to discuss ways to expedite construction of the first-ever tertiary care hospital in rural Islamabad, the King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Hospital, a senior official
 at Pakistan’s health ministry said on Tuesday.

Construction is underway for King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Hospital in Islamabad on Feb. 26, 2020. (AN photo)

The Saudi delegation was led by Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) Regional Manager Dr. Saud Al Shammari and the Pakistani side by Director General Health, Malik Muhammad Safi.

Workers are seen at the construction site of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Hospital in Islamabad on Feb. 26, 2020. (AN photo)

“The total cost of the [hospital] building is Rs2,500 million, out of which Rs500 million was the cost of the land, which was provided by the Pakistani government while the remaining Rs2,000 million would be spent by the Saudi side,” Safi told Arab News in an interview
 in Islamabad on Tuesday.

He said Saudi officials had suspended the contractor hired by them earlier as they were not satisfied with progress on the project.

Workers are seen at the construction site of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Hospital in Islamabad on Feb. 26, 2020. (AN photo)

“During the meeting last week, the Saudi delegation informed us that they [Saudis] have voided the previous contractor and now are discussing hiring a new firm,” Safi said. “It will take another four months to complete the process of hiring through international bidding.”

After a new contractor is hired, it will take two years to complete the first phase of the 200-bed hospital, to which another 300 beds would be added in the future, Safi said.

“Pakistan has built a complete boundary wall and installed gates on the plot and possession has been given to Saudi officials,” he said. “Now they [Saudis] will take over control of further construction process. Their technical team is coordinating with our team to
 complete and expedite the work.”

Safi said the hospital would benefit over three million people from both urban and rural Islamabad. 

“Saudi Arabia is building a hospital in Islamabad as a gift to the people of Pakistan through the Saudi Fund for Development,” Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, told Arab News in Islamabad. “There are many welfare projects in the pipeline for
 the Pakistani people and they will be executed by different Saudi agencies all over Pakistan.”