ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Friday said that the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman would be the continuation of the new era of the growing relationship started by Prime Minister Imran Khan among Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.
Speaking at the launch of the Arab News newspaper, he said that Islamabad has been decorated and people are eagerly waiting to give a warm welcome to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who upon his arrival would be personally received by Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding that the air force will fly past as the visit of crown prince will start.
He said that a Supreme Coordination Council of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had been set up. It would be headed by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and Prime Minister Imran Khan and would work for implementation of agreements between the two countries and would remove hurdles coming in the way.
The Joint Working Group of the two countries would further coordinate for making progress in different sectors of the economy and business.
He referred to the statement of PM Khan made at the World Government Summit in Dubai in which he stressed it was time to invest in Pakistan and invited businessmen to set up projects in the country. The Arab countries had positively responded to the gesture of the premier and were ready to make investments, he added.
Fawad said that during the visit of the Saudi crown prince multiple agreements leading to huge investment in Pakistan would be signed. The investments would be the biggest in the last 10 years. High-level delegations of the two countries would hold bilateral talks to promote cooperation in diverse fields, he added.
The minister informed that Saudi Arabia planned to build two new cities which would provide numerous job opportunities for workers from Pakistan, adding that Saudi Arabia had already cut visa fee for Pakistanis while Islamabad had relaxed visa regime for foreign visitors and would give incentives to Arab citizens who would visit and make investments in Pakistan.
Giving details of the visit, he said that the president and the prime minister would host dinners during the two-day visit for the Saudi delegation and Pakistan would bestow its highest civil award on Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. He said that Pakistan had an important role in the Middle East and PM Khan had begun a new era of cooperative relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Ties based on similar religious beliefs and cultural affinities between the two countries had grown from strength to strength over the generations since the time of King Abdul Aziz and now the relationship would enter a new phase built on business and investment. The crown prince considers Pakistan as his second home, he observed.
Fawad said that when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won the general election and Imran Khan became the prime minister, he received the first call from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
He said that the government and opposition were on the same page over the Saudi crown prince’s visit and the people of Pakistan are happy on his arrival. He said that launch of the Arab News is a welcome step and it shows that the interest of Arab countries is increasing in Pakistan, adding the publishing of Arab News would improve the job market for Pakistani media persons.
Meanwhile, reports emerged on Friday that the Saudi crown prince would be conferred with Nishan-e-Pakistan – the highest civilian award — during his upcoming visit to the country this weekend.