Amid heightened Indo-Pak tensions, Saudi Arabia on Sunday signed an agreement to invest USD 20 billion in cash-strapped Pakistan. The development came after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s arrival in capital city Islamabad earlier in the day. 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. Sources said, a number of agreements and MoUs were signed in diverse sectors during Salman’s maiden visit to Islamabad.
"Saudi Arabia signs an agreement to invest $20 billion in Pakistan," the news agency ANI reported.
AFP news agency: Saudi Arabia signs an agreement to invest $20 billion in Pakistan. (file pic, courtesy - Geo News) pic.twitter.com/ONgYepF6Tr— ANI (@ANI) February 17, 2019
According to Advisor to PM on Trade, Razzak Dawood, agreements worth around USD 20 billion has been signed, including one about Saudi investment to build an oil refinery. The refinery once ready will help to save about USD 1.25 billion in imports bills.
The two sides will also set up an advisory council led by the crown prince and the prime minister of Pakistan to follow up the agreement singed so that they are implemented on time.
Post his Islamabad visit, Prince Salman, who is also Saudi Arabia’s defence minister, is scheduled to arrive in India on February 19 on his first official visit. Counter-terrorism and energy security are expected to top the agenda for discussions during the two-day trip.
On Pulwama terror attack, Saudi Arabia on Friday said it stood with India's fight against terrorism and extremism and denounced as "cowardly" the attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Thursday. The deadliest terror strike in the heart of Kashmir Valley left 42 CRPF jawans nad dozens of others injured.
(With inputs from agencies)