PM Imran Khan on Saudi-Pakistan ties: ‘Our relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields’

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman riding in a carriage during a welcome ceremony in Islamabad on February 18, 2019. (Getty Images)
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Updated 07 May 2021

PM Imran Khan on Saudi-Pakistan ties: ‘Our relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields’

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long-standing and historic fraternal relations, rooted deep in common faith, shared history and mutual support.
The people of Pakistan hold the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the highest esteem. Our relationship is marked by close cooperation in all fields and we look forward to further strengthen this equation especially our economic ties for our mutual benefit.
Being home to the two holiest cities for the Muslims across the world, Saudi Arabia has a key role in unifying the Muslim Ummah.
Pakistan highly values this role that Saudi Arabia has consistently been playing. One of the key challenges faced by Muslims today is Islamophobia.
It is imperative that the Muslim world takes a united stance against the rising tide of Islamophobia and we all make concerted efforts to sensitize the West about our deep respect for our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and our sensitivities about our religion being linked with terrorism.
I take this opportunity to appreciate various landmark initiatives taken by the visionary leadership of Saudi Arabia. One that requires a special mention is One that requires a special mention is “Saudi Green Initiative” and “Green Middle East Initiative.”
The threat that climate change poses to this planet and our region is real and it is high time for action. Pakistan has already initiated “Clean and Green Pakistan” and “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami.”
We believe that our priorities and goals in this regard are aligned and we can therefore learn a lot by sharing experiences. Pakistan will extend every possible support toward the success of the Green Initiative.
I look forward to my visit to Saudi Arabia and hope my interaction with the Saudi leadership will further strengthen our bilateral relations and will open further avenues for building a strong economic partnership as well as promoting people to people contacts.
I take this opportunity to pay my best regards to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the royal family and the great people of Saudi Arabia.
Long live Pak-Saudi friendship!

• Imran Khan is the prime minister of Pakistan.


Saudi Arabia announces 13 more COVID-19 deaths

Updated 19 June 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 13 more COVID-19 deaths

  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 454,404
  • A total of 7,663 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 13 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,153 new infections on Saturday.
Of the new cases, 335 were recorded in Makkah, 266 in Riyadh, 148 in the Eastern Province, 119 in Asir, 84 in Jazan, 63 in Madinah, 27 in Najran, 23 in Tabuk, 17 in Hail, 12 in Al-Baha, 10 in the Northern Borders region, and four in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 454,404 after 1,145 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 7,663 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 16.4 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Arab coalition destroys 11 Houthi drones targeting southern Saudi Arabia

Updated 19 June 2021

Arab coalition destroys 11 Houthi drones targeting southern Saudi Arabia

  • Iran-backed Houthi militia have consistently launched attacks against the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s air defenses destroyed 11 Houthi drones launched toward the Kingdom’s southern region on Saturday.
A booby-trapped drone targeted Khamis Mushait early morning before seven more targeting the southern region were intercepted in Yemeni airspace during the afternoon.
Khamis Mushait was again targeted by two drones in the evening.

Another drone targeted Najran late evening. 
The Houthi militia’s deliberate and systematic escalation against Yemenis constitutes a war crime, the coalition said, adding that it was taking measures to protect civilians from hostile attacks.
The Iran-backedHouthis have been attacking the Kingdom with explosives-laden drones on an almost daily basis in recent weeks despite US, UN and Saudi calls for a ceasefire in Yemen.

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Experts predict growing number of ‘digital pilgrims’ as COVID-19 pandemic persists

Updated 19 June 2021

Experts predict growing number of ‘digital pilgrims’ as COVID-19 pandemic persists

Experts predict growing number of 'digital pilgrims' as COVID-19 pandemic persists

JEDDAH: The growing role of digitization in media, advertising and services was the focus of a dialogue session held on Friday as part of the Makkah Region Digital Projects Exhibition.

Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, Saudi deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah; Esam Al-Wagait, director of Saudi Arabia’s National Information Center; and Tony Chan, president of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, were among speakers during the session.

Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, governor of Makkah, also attended the session.

Mashat said that this year’s Hajj will witness a qualitative leap in the use of smart cards, with pilgrims’ journeys digitized from start to finish.

So far more than 450,000 requests have made through the electronic portal launched a few days ago, he said.

Saudi Arabia’s communications commission has worked to serve the pilgrims through digital systems before their arrival in the Kingdom.

Mashat said that the Ministry of Hajj is using smart cards and surveillance cameras to serve pilgrims, while artificial intelligence will increase surveillance camera efficiency and enhance security operations.

Chan said that the digital revolution will lead the economy and contribute to the operation of smart cities.

To achieve this, digital infrastructure must be flexible, secure and focused on people since sustainability is a necessity for future smart cities, he added.

 

 

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Who’s Who: Ahmad Ghazi Darwish, chief administrative officer at The Red Sea Development Co. and Amaala

Updated 18 June 2021

Who’s Who: Ahmad Ghazi Darwish, chief administrative officer at The Red Sea Development Co. and Amaala

Ahmad Ghazi Darwish is the chief administrative officer at The Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC) and Amaala.

He joined the Red Sea project in November 2016 as executive director of PMO. He worked on achieving approval of the project vision and strategy, interfacing with the board, incorporating the company, deploying key executive positions, administrating the master plan competition and obtaining approval of the concept master plan.

Darwish became chief of staff to the CEO in April 2018. In this role, he was responsible for TRSDC’s corporate services, human resources, government and external affairs, special projects and social development, corporate performance, EPMO, smart destination, strategy and cybersecurity functions.

He fulfilled these tasks by providing guidance and support, and cultivating relationships, whether external and internal, ensuring the alignment of efforts across the company through efficient business objectives.

In December 2020, he was promoted to chief administrative officer to reflect his broadened role, following three years in the role of chief of staff.

Darwish is the official Arabic spokesperson for TRSDC with the Saudi national media and has conducted several media interviews and gatherings.

Before joining TRSDC, Darwish served 20 years with Saudi Aramco, where he managed multiple projects in information technology and additional projects with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), including the infrastructure project of KAUST’s Research and Technology Park, and the Aramco research center at KAUST. He is a certified member of the Project Management Institute and the Saudi Council of Engineers, and holds a BSc in electric engineering from the University of Portland, US, and an MSc in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Glasgow, UK.


Saudi Arabia announces 15 more COVID-19 deaths

Updated 18 June 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 15 more COVID-19 deaths

  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 453,259
  • A total of 7,650 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 15 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,236 new infections on Friday.
Of the new cases, 372 were recorded in Makkah, 240 in Riyadh, 213 in the Eastern Province, 115 in Asir, 89 in Jazan, 65 in Madinah, 24 in Najran, 21 in Al-Baha, 18 in Hail, 18 in Tabuk, nine in the Northern Borders region, and four in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 453,259 after 1,050 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 7,650 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 16.3 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.