'PM’s visit has thwarted plans of those wishing ill on Pak-Saudi relations'

FM says govt will be accused of reaching settlement if Shehbaz Sharif is allowed to fly abroad

Our Correspondent May 12, 2021


Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Wednesday that Prime Ministers Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia thwarted the intentions of those wanting to damage Pak-Saudi relations.

Talking to the media in Multan, the foreign minister said that the premier paid a three-day visit to the kingdom on the invitation of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during which important issues were discussed in a cordial atmosphere.

He said that during the three rounds of talks with Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Salman and Prime Minister Imran also had a one-on-one meeting.

“Five agreements have been signed with Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-Pakistan Strategic Supreme Council has been set up due to which cooperation in various fields will be promoted,” the FM said.

He added that under the signed agreements there would be a regular institutional liaison consisting of three pillars.

“The first is security and political pillar, which will be headed by Pakistan's foreign minister. The second is related to the economy, which will be headed by Pakistan's finance minister and the third concerns cooperation in cultural relations, which will be headed by Pakistan's minister of culture,” the foreign minister elaborated.

Qureshi added that millions of jobs would be created for Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia under Muhammad bin Salman's Vision 2030. Job quotas would be allocated for Pakistanis, he said.

Read PM Imran's visit to KSA highly productive: FM Qureshi

Saudi Arabia will help Pakistan in the energy sector as well, the diplomat added.

“Saudi Arabia would provide $500 million to Pakistan from the Saudi Development Fund to be used for the development of infrastructure, water resources and hydropower projects in Pakistan to reduce the cost of electricity in the country,” Qureshi informed.

Shehbaz Sharif

Talking about PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif being allowed to fly abroad, the foreign minister said that the former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, was allowed to go abroad for treatment and Shehbaz had assured the court that Nawaz would return after his treatment.

“Nawaz Sharif has been bestowed with health by the Almight now and he is also addressing PDM meetings,” the FM said. “Now, Shehbaz’s illness is being justified, while he appears healthy. If Shehbaz also leaves then we will be accused of reaching a settlement.”

The foreign minister questioned whether it should only be PM Imran who is responsible for eradicating corruption?

The foreign minister further said that the premier had announced development projects worth over Rs30 billion for Multan. He said setting up the South Punjab Secretariat was a big step forward, one that would take time but would significantly change the cities of South Punjab.