All Weather Friendship Between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

Tue Apr 16 2024
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Faisal Ahmad

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The arrival of a high-level delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) led by honorable foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Pakistan is another heartening development in the decades-long history of bilateral ties. According to the foreign office of Pakistan, this visit is aimed at lending positive impetus to enhanced bilateral cooperation and mutually rewarding economic partnership.

The delegation accompanying the Saudi foreign minister consisted of Saudi Minister of Water and Agriculture Engineer Abdul Rahman Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadley, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Ibrahim AlKhorayef, Deputy Minister of Investment Badr Al Badr, Head of Saudi Special Committee Mohammad Mazyed Al Towaijri, and senior officials from Ministry of Energy and Saudi Fund for General Investments. Meetings of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud with PM Shahbaz Sharif, President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir reflect the multi-dimensional scope of this important tour.

This high-level delegation came to Pakistan as a follow-up of a meeting between PM Shehbaz Sharif and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman which was held in Riyadh in the first week of April. As Pakistan is striving to overcome the economic crisis, expectations are high that recent positive engagements with KSA would pave the way by completing the spadework for a $5 billion investment in the first place. The Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is likely to visit Pakistan in May and sign some important agreements for billions of dollars in investment in Reko Diq, refinery, agriculture and mining projects.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman, investment, economic, cooperation

According to the Federal Minister of Commerce, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the biggest economy in the Gulf region with GDP reaching $1.1 trillion in 2022.  Apart from expected government-to-government investment deals on Reko Diq and other sectors of the economy during the two-day visit of the Saudi delegation, Pakistan is also eying expected progress on business-to-business (B2B)  deals for joint ventures between top entrepreneurs of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

A big delegation of top business groups of Pakistan earlier visited the KSA for the B2B Conference held on February 21, 2024, in Riyadh. Pakistani businessmen developed networking with Saudi entrepreneurs in Riyadh. Now the scope has been extended from B2B avenues to more sectors like IT, services, minerals, environment and logistics. The importance of multi-directional engagements with KSA has increased manifolds due to growing desperation in Pakistan for expeditious revival of economic stability. The supportive role of KSA for Pakistan in testing times is an undeniable historical fact.

The nature of trust-based all-weather brotherly relations can be understood from the fact that both countries have always stood by each other on important global and regional issues. In the current Middle East crisis, both KSA and Pakistan have urged the stakeholders to exercise the highest degree of restraint for the sake of regional peace.

Pakistan PM Meets Saudi Foreign Minister 1

Both nations share a common ideology on the sensitive issue of violent extremism and terrorism. Recently, KSA and Pakistan inked an intelligence-sharing agreement to combat terrorism. People of Pakistan always look upon KSA as a reliable friendly state which always extends much-needed support in hours of need. As the visit of the delegation is over on encouraging notes, the upcoming visit of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman will formally stamp the bilateral cooperation through investment deals.

Besides state-level formal agreements, KSA has always been forthcoming on account of rendering humanitarian assistance to Pakistan during natural calamities. The timely provision of cash deposits and its subsequent roll-over actually enabled Pakistan to regain financial stability. The official website of the Pakistani Consulate General in Jeddah reflects the unique ideological bonding and warmth of Pak-KSA bilateral ties “Pakistan has enjoyed warm relations with Saudi Arabia since the birth of the country in 1947.

Pakistan, Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Army Chief, Chief of Army Staff, COAS, General Syed Asim Munir, ISPR, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Kingdom,

The relations are rooted in the centuries-old religious, cultural and commercial links between the two peoples. The relationship is also based on shared Islamic ideals. Pakistan is the only state founded on Islamic identity while Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and home to the two holiest sites of Islam. Quran and Sunnah play a significant role in the constitutional framework of both countries”. Despite the rapidly changing geo-political landscape, both KSA and Pakistan are standing unshaken in support of each other. Exemplary bilateral cooperation is expanding with every passing day in the fields of economy, diplomacy, security, ideology and religious domains.

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