-Inclusion of KSA in CPEC to benefit entire region
PESHAWAR: Former diplomats and international relations experts here on Thursday termed Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) a highly successful one and maintained that inclusion of Kingdom Saudi Arabia (KSA) in CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) would benefit people of the entire region.
Former Ambassador of Pakistan to Afghanistan, Rushtam Sha Mohmand told APP on Thursday that the PM’s visit to KSA would help produce positive results in the days to come beside, further bolstering bilateral cooperation in all major sectors including economy, investment, trade, energy, oil, gas and defence.
He said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia’s relations are deep-rooted with strong religious, cultural and historical bonds that would further be cemented after this historic visit of PM Imran.
The former ambassador said it was the first official visit to a foreign country after the premier assumed the government, adding that a red carpet welcome to PM Khan has shown how important Pakistan is for the Kingdom.
He said that the Saudi government can help Pakistan with economic and financial issues especially in energy, exploration of natural resources, construction and infrastructure development.
He expressed the hope that the Saudi government would reciprocate the offer of its inclusion in CPEC and make a direct foreign investment in our country which is located in a very strategic geographic location in South Asia.
The former ambassador also said that Pakistan is a very rich country in term of natural resources and the KSA’s assistance in gas and oil’s exploration technology would be welcomed.
“Whenever a new government has formed in our country its first priority has been to further develop a bilateral relationship with KSA,” he said.
Shah said that Saudi Arabia is facing security-related challenges in the wake of a difficult situation in Syria, Iran and Yaman and Pakistan’s assistance in defence and security issues are very meaningful for the oil-rich country.
The former ambassador further said that a large number of Pakistani expatriates are serving in KSA by playing a vital role in its development and the Saudi government knows their importance in their country’s economic development.
University of Peshawar Political Science Department’s Professor Dr Abdul Rauf Khan told APP that the visit of PM Khan remained successful as evident from the fact that Jeddah was been decorated with Pakistani flags on his arrival beside the opening of the ‘Khana Kaaba’ for the premier and his delegation.
He was of the same opinions as former ambassador Shah, saying that the KSA is a very important Muslim country with a strong economic base and can help us in the revival of our economy by making a direct foreign investment in above sectors.
He said the inclusion of Saudi Arabia in CPEC would give added strategic advantage to Pakistan and make the region a hub of trade and investment.
“Saudi Arabia was well aware of Pakistan’s security power and the latter can help the former in defence-related issues immensely,” he stated.
Rauf Khan said that Pakistan enjoys cordial relations with Iran as well and Islamabad can play a constructive role in bringing both these brotherly Muslim countries closer.