m3n4.net
m3n4.net March 21, 2019


Saudi crown prince heads for Pakistan amid India tensions

19 February 2019, 12:28 | Tara Lloyd

Reuters Phil Noble

Reuters  Phil Noble

Pakistani President Arif Alvi, right, receives visiting Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the presidential palace in Islamabad.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the opening of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018.

Pakistani officials have already flagged up that Saudi Arabia will announce eight investment agreements, including a $10 billion refinery and petrochemicals complex in the coastal city of Gwadar, where China is building a port.

According to Tasnim dispatches, the demonstrators said the first objective behind bin Salman's visit is to undermine the territorial integrity and independence of Pakistan.

"Though it is top secret so far, there are strong indications representatives of the Afghan Taliban will meet Prince Salman during their visit of Pakistan on February 18", one of the Pakistani officials in Islamabad said.

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In addition, eight multibillion-dollar MoUs will also be signed in the fields of water, power, investment, finance, renewable energy, internal security, media, culture and sports.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, federal cabinet ministers and senior civil and military officials saw off Saudi Prince at Noor Khan airbase.

Major roads in Islamabad were blocked off for Prince Mohammed's arrival with more than 1,000 police checkpoints set up.

"We believe that Pakistan has huge opportunity". Prime Minister Imran Khan was also introduced to members of Saudi delegation on the occasion.

The unprecedented Saudi investment is being viewed by Prime Minister Khan's nascent government as a major boost for Pakistan, which is facing an economic crisis and balance of payments pressure.

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The crown prince said at the signing ceremony in Islamabad that the $20 billion figure "will grow every month and every year". "In recent years, there has been significant progress in bilateral cooperation in key areas of mutual interest, including energy security, trade and investment, infrastructure, defense and security", a statement released by India's Ministry of External Affairs read.

Mohammed bin Salman, widely known as "MBS", is expected to land in the capital Islamabad and stay in Pakistan until Monday.

"India and Saudi Arabia have historically enjoyed close and friendly relations anchored in mutually beneficial partnership and extensive people to people contacts".

New Delhi accuses Islamabad of playing a role in the attack that killed more than 40 Indian security forces.

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