Treason trial: FO quashes speculation about Saudi prince’s trip

Brushes aside ‘fascinating’ reports about ‘prearranged visit’.


Our Correspondent January 04, 2014
Prince Saud al Faisal. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD:


The coincidence of a ‘pre-planned’ visit by the Saudi foreign minister with Pervez Musharraf’s trial had provided grist to the rumour mill in Pakistan. However, the Foreign Ministry on Friday dismissed speculation that Prince Saud al Faisal was going to discuss the fate of the former military ruler during his trip.


Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam brushed off media reports linking the Saudi prince’s visit with the treason trial as ‘fascinating’. The visit was planned much ahead of the recent developments related to Musharraf’s trial, she told a weekly news briefing.

Tasnim said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had invited the Saudi foreign minister to visit Pakistan during their meeting on the fringes of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September last year.

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“The dates were being worked out and now he will be here on 6th and 7th of January. This is a normal interaction between states. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan enjoy a very close relationship and this would be the first high-level visit after the new government took office in Pakistan,” she added.

The timing of the visit triggered speculations that Riyadh was once again involved in backdoor efforts to broker a deal between the embattled former president and the government of Premier Nawaz Sharif.

The Saudi foreign minister will meet the prime minister, his adviser on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz and army chief General Rahil Sharif. His scheduled talks with Pakistani leadership will coincide with the next hearing of the treason trial against Musharraf.

But, the spokesperson claimed that Musharraf’s trial was Pakistan’s internal matter and the outside world should have no concern over it. She also said that UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan was in Pakistan on a private hunting expedition and had nothing to do with Musharraf’s case.

Pak-China nuclear cooperation

Replying to a question, Tasnim confirmed that China had agreed to invest $6 billion in building the biggest-ever nuclear power plant in Pakistan to meet the country’s growing energy demands. “Yes, building nuclear power plants is a part of our energy-mix. It is the first-ever atomic power plant of this size in Pakistan. The previous ones were much smaller,” she told a questioner.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2014.

COMMENTS (2)

Wiki | 8 years ago | Reply

This guy in the picture is Prince Turki al Faisal

Last Word | 8 years ago | Reply

Well, the FM may have come to finalise transfer of nuclear toys from Pakistan to SA which was reported by BBC news in November last year and on the sidelines, helping their blued eyed Musharraf in leaving Pakistan without facing the treason trial.

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