Saudi Crown Prince Arrives in Pakistan for Official Visit

PM Imran Khan gives a speech at the state dinner

PM Imran Khan gives a speech at the state dinner

The two-day visit to Pakistan which began Sunday is the first by bin Salman, commonly known by his initials MBS, since he became crown prince.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Saudi Arabia will invest 20 billion dollars in various sectors of Pakistan. Investors appeared skeptical: The benchmark KSE-100 Index fell on Monday to the lowest in about three weeks.

The crown prince is expected to conclude his Asia tour with a China visit on Friday.

Highlighting the growing economic relations, the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding.

Reports in America late previous year claimed that the Central Intelligence Agency had evidence the crown prince ordered the assassination of Saudi Arabian dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Crown prince Mohammed will later travel to neighbouring India amid heightened tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi over this week's suicide vehicle bombing in India-administered Kashmir that killed more than 40 paramilitary troops.

Prime Minister Khan presented his cabinet members to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. At the request of King Fahd in 1982, General Zia ul-Haq, then Pakistan's president, sent an armoured brigade to the kingdom.

"Not travelling to the West does not mean that he can not come to the East. Saudi Arabia is also making strategic adjustments, and Asia is the new main direction of Saudi diplomacy", he said.

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The conclusion reached by Britain would "carry great weight" with European leaders, the FT reported on Sunday, citing a source. If true, the report goes against continued warnings from the U.S. concerning the threat posed by Huawei to Western nations.

"India-Saudi ties have evolved and Riyadh, unlike in the past, no longer accepts Pakistan's narrative on terrorism or even the J&K dispute", said a source here on condition of anonymity. With plans on to seek help from International Monetary fund, Prime Minister Imran Khan has been seeking help from friendly nations so as to minimize the bailout package required from IMF.

The Saudi "investment and infrastructure projects should provide a welcome supply-side boost" to the economy, said Bilal Khan, a senior economist at Standard Chartered Plc in Dubai.

The club also signed a memorandum of understanding with the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia past year to help develop football industry in the country.

The club did not comment on the reports about takeover interest from Saudi Arabia ahead of the minister's denial.

Now Prince Mohammed is visiting Islamabad and New Delhi at a time of renewed tensions between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan.

The visit comes days after a suicide bomber killed 44 Indian paramilitary police in the disputed Kashmir region.

India has pointed the finger at Pakistan, which denies involvement.

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