1,000 delegates, 21-gun salute and $20-billion deal: Decoding Mohammad Bin Salman Pakistan trip
1,000 delegates and $20-billion deal: Decoding MBS’ Pakistan trip
Updated On : 18 Feb 2019, 11:56:20 AM
Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman who also known as MBS arrived in the Pakistani capital for a state visit on Sunday. Saudi Arabia on Sunday signed an agreement to invest USD 20 billion in cash-strapped Pakistan. In a break from protocol, Prime Minister Imran Khan personally drove the Saudi crown prince to PM House, where a welcome ceremony took place in his honour. This is the first visit of MBS as the crown prince. He had earlier visited Pakistan as defence minister at the start of the Yemen conflict. Prince Salman said Saudi "cannot say no to Pakistan, whatever you (Pakistan) want we will do."
A formation of JF-17 thunder jets and F-16 fighter jets escorted the plane of the Saudi royal after its entry into the Pakistani airspace and was given a 21-gun salute upon arrival.
The government has reserved some 300 Land Cruisers for 1,000 visiting Saudi delegates. A gym has also been set up in the Prime Minister House for the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia.
At a ceremony in the PM House, Pakistan and Saudi officials signed MoUs for bilateral cooperation in a number of areas — a process overseen by Prime Minister Khan and MBS.
Two receptions were held in the Presidency and Prime Minister House in honour of the crown prince during which one-on-one meetings between him and President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Khan will take place. The crown prince will also meet Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Mohammad Bin Salman: "Today we signed MoUs. The amount of that kind of investment is USD 20 billion. It is big for phase one and definitely it (Saudi investment in Pakistan) will grow every month, every year in bigger numbers and it will be beneficial for both the countries. Pakistan is going to be very, very important country in the future and we want to be sure we are part of that."