Pakistan, Saudi ties harmonious under King Salman: PM’s aide | Pakistan Today

Pakistan, Saudi ties harmonious under King Salman: PM’s aide

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad on Sunday asserted the relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had “witnessed stability and harmony” under the leadership of incumbent King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

In an interview with Arab News on Sunday, Tahir Ashrafi, special repre­sentative to the prime minister on religious har­mony and the Middle East, said the two countries were “knotted in relations of brotherhood” and bilateral ties were “getting stronger and stronger with each passing day”.

The kingdom celebrated the sixth anniversary of King Salman’s ascension to the throne earlier this week, with Ashrafi felicitating the Saudi royal on occasion.

“People of Pakistan pray for King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman to serve the Muslim Ummah,” he said at the time.

The otherwise brotherly ties between Islamabad and Riyadh have experienced a cold in recent times with Kingdom expressing reluctance to overtly support Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute fearing reaction from India with which it has signed multi-billion-dollar deals — in a bid aimed at diversifying the petrodollar-dependent economy.

Earlier in August, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while expressing frustration at a lack of diplomatic voice from the OIC countries on Kashmir, had warned of parting-ways with Riyadh-dominated organisation if it “fails to convene a foreign ministers meeting” on the issue.

Qureshi had also criticised the 57-member group’s silence about issues, including Palestine, Kashmir and the Babri mosque.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Ashrafi had said that Pakistan was “committed to addressing challenges of the Muslim world with the unity of Islamic countries”.

“Pakistan aims [for] stable and strengthened relations with all Muslim countries and Pakistan’s relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are very exemplary,” he had said.