Saudis to help reduce Pak-India tension

February 19,2019

Mohammad bin Salman reminded the world that dialogue is the only way to resolve outstanding issues between Pakistan and India and ensure peace and stability in the region. He eulogised the steps taken by Pakistan and Imran Khan towards forging better ties with India.

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ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia on Monday vowed to try to reduce tensions between Pakistan and India as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman completed his two-day visit to Pakistan. At a joint press briefing with Imran Khan, Prince Mohammed bin Salman said before his departure that Pakistan has the potential to become a big economy by 2030.

"We believe in Pakistan's future and that it has a huge opportunity. In 2030, Pakistan will be next to the two huge economies. One, China will be the largest economy in 2030, and two, India will be the third-largest economy, so Pakistan will definitely benefit from these neighbours," he said.

The crown prince said Saudi Arabia believes in the future of Pakistan and it will continue to do more for the development and progress of the country. He once again showed faith in the Pakistani leadership. "There is great leadership here to put Pakistan in the right position. We can see it happening," he said, adding: "We believe in Pakistan. Because of our long relations we want to be part of that journey and we want to risk our money, to risk our efforts, to start from day one," he explained.

Mohammad bin Salman reminded the world that dialogue is the only way to resolve outstanding issues between Pakistan and India and ensure peace and stability in the region. He eulogised the steps taken by Pakistan and Imran Khan towards forging better ties with India.

Imran Khan briefed the crown prince on the grave human rights violations in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) and the need for resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. He was also briefed on the regional situation.

Imran Khan thanked the crown prince for ordering release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners detained in Saudi jails on minor charges. He said with this gesture, the crown prince has become a popular figure in Pakistan as the entire Pakistani nation is thankful for his act of kindness in releasing the detained people. He said the geo-strategic location of Pakistan offers tremendous opportunities for the region.

“We want you to consider Pakistan your second home. Consider the PM House your own house whenever you come to Pakistan,” the PM told the crown prince.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement at the conclusion of the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia reiterated their commitment to continue combating extremism and terrorism while calling on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to join all international efforts to combat global terrorism.

They also underlined the need for avoiding politicisation of the UN listing regime, and stressed that dialogue between Pakistan and India is the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region to resolve outstanding issues.

The joint resolution points out that during the official talks in Islamabad, the crown prince praised the openness and efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan for dialogue with India and the opening of the Kartarpur Crossing point and the efforts exerted by both sides, stressing that dialogue is the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region to resolve outstanding issues.

Earlier, Imran Khan briefed the crown prince on the grave human rights violations in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) and the need for resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people.

The two sides agreed on the importance of political settlement and promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan so that millions of Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries can return to their country and contribute to their development and lasting peace.

The Saudi side appreciated Pakistan’s generous hosting of millions of Afghan refugees and other initiatives by Pakistan in the Afghan context.

The statement also articulates the common positions of the two countries on a range of regional, security and international issues including inter alia challenges faced by the Islamic Ummah, inter-faith harmony, counter terrorism, among others.

As the crown prince departed from Pakistan, the Foreign Office said that the visit laid the foundation for a new chapter in Pakistan-Saudi relationship, marked by high level institutional framework to guide future direction of political, diplomatic, economic, investment, trade, people-to-people, defence, security and cultural aspects.

“The establishment of Supreme Coordination Council, its subsidiary mechanism and the Council’s inaugural session in Islamabad were key steps in shaping the new trajectory in the bilateral relationship,” said the statement.

According to the Foreign Office, both sides stressed that dialogue is the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region and to resolve the outstanding issues.

Both sides strongly condemned the atrocities and human rights violations committed against Muslims around the world. The joint statement, while reaffirming the historic relationship between the two brotherly countries, applauds the growing momentum in bilateral ties in all areas.

It expressed deep appreciation for the achievements and sacrifices made by the two sides in the war against terrorism. They also applauded the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in order to confront this serious scourge.

The two sides reaffirmed the historical relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Imran Khan praised the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and the efforts of his wise government, specially its services to the millions of pilgrims who visit the two holy mosques every year. the prime minister also lauded the leadership of the crown prince for the development and investment files that would push Saudi Arabia in a rapid progress and prosperity in view of its Vision 2030, which aims to put the Kingdom on the path of development in various fields.

Mohammed bin Salman praised Imran Khan’s agenda of transforming Pakistan into a welfare state, based on Islamic socio-economic principles and assured him of the Kingdom’s continued support. During the high-level discussions between the two sides, they applauded the growing momentum in their bilateral relations in all areas of cooperation, held wide-ranging discussions in a cordial atmosphere and expressed their satisfaction at strengthening the level of leadership communications between the two countries.

The Pakistani side appreciated the leadership and positive role of the Kingdom in resolving the issues facing Islamic Ummah worldwide. The Saudi side lauded Pakistan’s important positions in the Islamic world and its efforts for regional peace and security. Both sides noted with satisfaction their strong defence and security ties, and agreed to further enhance cooperation in this field to advance shared objectives.

The two sides expressed their hope for achieving a fair, comprehensive and long-lasting peace in the Middle East in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the resolutions of international legitimacy guaranteeing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state based on internationally agreed standards 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital.

The two sides agreed to make use of all available channels to promote bilateral trade, investment and promote communication between the two peoples and businessmen. The Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, which is now part of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council, shall facilitate bilateral trade in specific sectors and products. They also agreed to further strengthen measures to promote trade, participate in exhibitions and events, welcome business meetings from both countries, and encourage the private sector to take the lead in building a strong economic partnership between the two brotherly countries.

Highlighting the growing economic relations, the crown prince and Imran Khan witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding. The Saudi side expressed its appreciation for the initiatives taken by the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the conduct of business in the country and facilitate FDI in Pakistan. The prime minister called on Saudi Arabia to be a partner in economic growth and development in Pakistan. The crown prince also praised the efforts of Imran Khan to develop the economic and social structure in Pakistan. He stressed the potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will contribute to the development and prosperity of the region.

Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa saw off Mohammed bin Salman at Nur Khan Airbase as his visit concluded on Monday evening. The crown prince reached Riyadh on Monday night and is scheduled to arrive in India today (Tuesday).


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