Saudi Crown Prince heads to Pakistan


Islamabad: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is likely to visit Pakistan next week. This visit of his is long expected. Once the program was canceled at the last minute.

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia last visited Pakistan in February 2019, when the then Prime Minister Imran Khan himself took him in his car to the Prime Minister’s residence.

After that, Pakistan invited Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman several times, but due to various reasons his visit was postponed every time.

When he went to India last year to attend the G20 summit in New Delhi, it was a diplomatic defeat for Pakistan.

Pakistan tried hard to get MBS to go to Pakistan, even if only for a short while, but things did not work out.

Senior political analyst Adnan Shaukat said, “Pakistan wants to send a strong message to its arch-rival India regarding relations with the big Gulf countries. But contrary to its wishes, Arab countries have maintained a balance in their relations with both India and Pakistan. Is.”

One of the major obstacles to MBS’s proposed visits to Pakistan becoming a reality are security concerns and political instability.

Shaukat said, “The Saudi crown prince was scheduled to visit Islamabad in the latter half of 2022. But it was canceled due to its dates being around the dates of change of army chief and the ongoing protests by Imran Khan’s party.”

“After this, due to political instability in the country and general elections, a new time for the tour could not be decided,” he said.

Shaukat said that however this time it seems that Shahbaz Sharif’s government has made its preparations well. “Shehbaz Sharif visited Riyadh twice and extended invitations and assurances to MBS. MBS has also agreed to visit Islamabad. This will be the third meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and MBS in five weeks,” he said.

Shehbaz Sharif has canceled attending the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting and is hosting a delegation of Saudi businessmen who have come to Islamabad in search of investment opportunities.

MBS’s visit is important in view of the recent visit of Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi to Pakistan amid the ongoing tension in South Asia.

Pakistan has opened its doors for Saudi businessmen and investors. He hopes that this will increase investment.

Senior political analyst Kamran Yusuf said, “The strategy to attract big investment from Saudi is part of the initiative to rescue the country from the current economic crisis. Pakistan is hoping to implement the first phase of a five billion dollar investment proposal from Saudi Arabia. Used to be.”

Pakistan has offered stakes to Saudi Arabian investors in important sectors like mining, agriculture, minerals and energy.

It hopes that the visit of the high-level Saudi delegation will pave the way for major announcements during MBS’s visit.

With inputs from IANS


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