ISLAMABAD: As the leading party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) continues to build up its lead in the general election, congratulatory messages continue to pour in from friendly countries.
Imran Khan spelt out his foreign policy contours in a live address on Thursday and vowed stronger bilateral ties with all countries.
He specially mentioned ties with Saudi Arabia, China, the United States of America, Afghanistan and India.
The ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Islamabad Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki met Imran Khan at his residence in Banni Gala and conveyed to him a message from the custodian of two holy mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, on his success and peaceful culmination of the electoral process, a statement from the PTI’s media cell said.
The Ambassador termed Imran''s address as "comprehensive and positive" and was appreciative of the sentiments expressed by Imran Khan.
The ambassador said the Saudi Crown Prince would visit Pakistan soon after the transition to the new government and put in place a new stronger bilateral relationship between the two countries.
He said both the countries were tied in strong historical and religious bonds and said these would continue to grow stronger in the days ahead.
He said the Saudi government would continue to stand with Pakistan in difficult times and desired wider and active ties with Pakistan.
Imran Khan expressed his gratitude to the Ambassador over the congratulatory message from King Salman and said brotherly Saudi Arabia was a trusted friend of Pakistan and had stood with it through all difficult times.
He vowed to breathe in a new life into their relationship and said the PTI attached special significance to Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations.
Earlier, the Saudi ambassador and Imran Khan warmly met and exchanged pleasantries, the statement said.
Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal congratulated Imran Khan on his success in the general election.
The ambassador in a tweet said "Over my stay in Pakistan have developed a close friendship resulting from his consistently welcoming positions on Afghanistan: calling for Pak’s constructive role in our peace & stability & strong support for Afghan refugees.”
Imran in his address said Pakistan needed to learn from China how it dealt with poverty and fought corruption.
He was also optimist that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would open new avenues of cooperation and create employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, the United States said it looked forward to opportunities to work with Pakistan to advance its goals of security and stability in South Asia.
In a statement, a spokesman for the State Department said: “As Pakistan’s elected leaders form a new government, the United States will look for opportunities to work with them to advance our goals of security, stability, and prosperity in South Asia”.
A spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry Friday appreciated the remarks of the PTI chief and said it reflected that the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership would remain strong, despite the change of government.
The spokesperson said Imran Khan has mentioned several times that Pakistan’s relations with China were the cornerstone of his country’s foreign policy.
The spokesman, Gen Shuang said the people of Pakistan were strong supporters of China-Pakistan friendship.
He said China sincerely hoped that Pakistan would successfully complete its political transition, maintain stability and achieve better development.
Imran in an interview with Arab News said his country enjoyed a “very special relationship with Saudi Arabia” and said he planned to nurture it further.
He said it was important for Pakistan to have good ties with other countries, and pointed that its relations with Saudi Arabia were unique as the Kingdom had “always been a friend of Pakistan in its difficult times.