Saudi Crown Prince May Visit Pakistan Next Month

Pakistan has been pushing for a visit from the Saudi de facto ruler for months….reports Asian Lite News

The much-anticipated visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to Pakistan is likely to take place in the first week of October, media reports said on Tuesday.

Pakistan has been pushing for a visit from the Saudi de facto ruler for months, The Express Tribune reported.

The Saudi crown prince visited India recently to attend the G20 Summit followed by a state visit. There were reports that the Saudi leader might make a brief stopover in Islamabad but later the plan was shelved.

Sources said the foreign office suggested that instead of Saudi crown prince making a stopover for a few hours, it was better that he would be invited for a state visit on separate dates, The Express Tribune reported.

Both sides were in contact with each other to finalise the dates for the visit. It is expected that the Saudi ruler may visit in the first week of October. Because of the likely visit of the Saudi crown prince, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar postponed his trip to Saudi Arabia.

He was earlier supposed to travel to Saudi Arabia before leaving for the UN General Assembly Session in New York, The Express Tribune reported.

Pakistan has high hopes of the impending visit of Saudi crown prince against the backdrop of economic crunch. Authorities are confident that the visit of Prince Mohammad would pave the way for much-needed investment the cash-strapped country has been seeking as part of efforts to address the economic challenges.

A Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was set up recently as part of efforts by the military leadership to attract investment from the Gulf countries.

Saudi Arabia has been identified as the major country to chip in with billions of dollars investment.

Sources said that during the visit of the crown prince, both sides are expected to announce major investment projects. One project includes the setting up of an oil refinery in Gwadar.

The multi-billion dollar project was first announced during the visit of the Saudi crown prince in February 2019. However, no further progress was made due to various reasons including tensions between the Imran Khan-led government and Saudi Arabia.

The project, however, was revived after the military leadership pushed for investment from the Gulf countries. As part of the plan, Pakistan has also shown interest in selling shares of Reko Diq mines to Saudi Arabia.

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