PM Imran’s visit to Saudi Arabia of vital importance

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Salahuddin Haider

A SUDDEN spur in Pak-Saudities, strained for some time, is up again for not only improvement, but the number of MOUs to be signed during the three-day visit to the Kingdom will be a real boost and lay down a solid foundation for prolonged friendly relationship between the two counties, tied with fraternal bonds.

Pakistan maintains close military ties with Saudi Arabia, providing extensive support, arms and training for the Saudi armed forces.

Since the 1970s, Pakistani soldiers have been stationed in Saudi Arabia to protect the Kingdom. Pakistan has also been providing training to Saudi soldiers and pilots.

The visit of PM to KSA is important in the backdrop of recent regional developments.

Pakistan and KSA enjoy a strong military and economic relationship and both have an opportunity to further strengthen the bond.

PM Imran Khan’s visit comes at a crucial point while the region and global alliances are changing rapidly.

The regional strategic environment requires strong alliances which can be seen in Pakistan-Saudi relations.

Signing of trade and economic MoUs during PM Imran Khan’s visit will further strengthen Pakistan-KSA relations. Pakistan fully supports the Crown Prince’s Vision 2030.

It includes “Saudi Green Initiative” and the “Green Middle East Initiative” which are closely aligned with Pakistan’s “Clean & Green Pakistan Initiative.”

KSA’s Vision 2030 aims at protecting nature and the planet, whereas
“Clean and Green Pakistan initiative” also calls for investing in nature- based solutions to address climate change.

As members of Muslim Ummah both countries have special relationship and place among the Muslim countries.

Both countries are committed to regional and global peace. Pakistan has significant contributions for augmenting the security of Saudia Arabia.

Pakistan and Saudia Arabia have strong military to military relationship.

Former Pakistan COAS is heading the Saudi-led military alliance against terrorism.
*Statement of Ministry of foreign affairs on KSA-Iran relations itself a concrete evidence of the esteem in which Islamabad hold Riyad and the Royal family.

There is now a new development. Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman extended the hand of friendship to Iran, which in turn responded warmly. “We welcome Saudi Arabia’s initiative for peace with Iran,”

Said the Pakistan foreign office as well as well the Premier himself, adding that “We believe that the peace initiative announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman will lead to unity among the Muslim World.”

Regional cooperation of Muslim countries is the need of the hour, especially in the face of challenges like Islamophobia.

Prior to the premier’s visit, army chief General Qamar Bajwa was in Saudia, during which he met the Saudi civilian and military leadership.

Many believe that in his meetings in Riyadh, Gen Bajwa had laid the groundwork for the prime minister’s visit that is expected to revive Saudi assistance to Pakistan.

Gen Bajwa last visited Saudi Arabia in August after a hiccup in bilateral relations, which was caused by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s statement on Saudi-dominated Organisation of Islamic Cooperation for its failure to convene a special meeting of the foreign ministers of the member countries for a discussion on the Kashmir dispute.

However, diplomatic sources expect that strained relationship will turn ito deeper and much stronger ties between the two brotherly countries.