ISLAMABAD: Preparations to welcome Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in his first-ever visit to Pakistan are in full swing and the government has already booked 300 super luxury Toyota Land Cruiser Prado vehicles for the royal visit starting from Sunday.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) aerobatics team Sherdil will enthrall the visiting dignitaries with a fly-past show using JF-17 Thunder jets, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.
However, Prince Mohammad will use his personal vehicles, which will be transported from the kingdom along with his other belongings. It is believed that 80 containers will be shipped to Islamabad for the crown prince and his entourage’s stay.
Sources said everything used by the Saudi visitors will be brought from the Saudi kingdom. Decision on number of vehicles to be brought from Saudi Arabia, will be taken at a high-level security meeting in the federal capital on Wednesday.
The Saudi prince will be accompanied by 130 royal guards during the visit, they added.
It may be mentioned that a 235-member delegation of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), led by Pakistan’s former army chief General Raheel Sharif, is already in the country to review security arrangements for the royal visit.
The crown prince will be presented the guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent of the country’s armed forces upon his arrival the PM House, where he will stay throughout the trip. Prince Mohammad will then hold a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan at the “PM Camp Office”.
The prime minister and President Arif Alvi will host the prince at luncheon and dinner respectively. A cultural performance will follow the dinner at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (Presidency).
Meanwhile, several meetings to ensure foolproof security of the visiting dignitaries are being held in the capital. Saudi officials, who came along Gen (retd) Raheel on Sunday, have started taking necessary steps to ensure the crown prince’s safe and comfortable stay at the PM House.
Sources further said that several food items were also being brought from the Saudi kingdom for Prince Mohammad.
After decades of dependence on Saudi grants, Pakistan is poised to sign billions of dollars of investment deals with the kingdom during the visit scheduled to begin from February 17, including a multibillion dollar oil refinery in Gwadar.
On Monday, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce and Investment Razak Dawood had said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will sign three memoranda of understanding for investment in oil, renewable energy and mineral sectors during the royal visit.
“It is very likely that an agreement for $3 billion oil facility on deferred payments will also be signed during the visit,” said Dawood, who was very upbeat about keen interest being shown by Saudi investors in Pakistan.
Pakistan will also ask Saudi Arabia to take part in the privatisation of over $2 billion worth of LNG-fired two power plants, although the kingdom had earlier showed interest in buying those units only under a government-to-government deal.
Dawood did not put an exact investment figure by Saudi Arabia, as the precise size of the investment will be determined once a feasibility study of the oil refinery is ready. The adviser estimated minimum $10 billion to $12 billion Saudi investment in Pakistan in the medium term.