ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Pervez Khattak has reiterated Pakistan’s full commitment to safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, saying that the security of the Kingdom is a cornerstone of Pakistan’s policy.
The minister expressed these views while addressing the audiences at a reception hosted by Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Bin Said Al-Malki to celebrate the 88th Saudi National Day in Islamabad.
Apart from the defence minister, Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Housing Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema and others were also present.
Moreover, a large number of foreign diplomats, parliamentarians, religious scholars, security officials, members of the business community and journalists were among the participants at the reception.
Khattak said that Pakistan gives great importance to its relations with Saudi Arabia. “The regional cooperation between the two countries is broad-based and multifaceted.”
He further said that the “defence cooperation between the nations is of pivotal nature,” adding that “Both nations are against terrorism and extremism”.
Welcoming the guests, Ambassador Nawaf addressed the audience and said that the way Pakistanis were observing Saudi Arabia’s National Day with zeal is similar to that of the Saudis back in the Kingdom on Pakistan Day.
He said that King Salman Bin Abdel Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman were great supporters of the democratic process and they had greeted the new government in Pakistan.
Nawaf said, “Saudi-Pakistan relations are characterised by its strength and durability as they are deeply rooted since more than seven decades after the independence of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”
“Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to choose Saudi Arabia as the destination of his first official visit abroad after assuming the office reflects the sincere intention of the new government to work with Saudi Arabia and that the Kingdom is Pakistan’s first and foremost strategic ally,” the Saudi envoy said.
The ambassador further said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia holds extreme love and appreciation for the Pakistani nation and vice versa due to the existence of the two Holy Mosques.”
He noted that there are more than 2.5 million Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia who are contributing to the Kingdom’s “revitalisation and prosperity.”
The reception was followed by a grand dinner where guests were served with traditional Arabic and Pakistani food.