PM’s Saudi Arabia visit gives new impetus to bilateral relations: Ashrafi

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Zubair Qureshi
Islamabad

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia has given a new impetus and dimension to bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and the visit would take these relations to a new level of friendship and mutual trust.

These views were expressed by Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Religious Harmony and Middle East (ME) Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi Tuesday.

He was addressing the media at a press conference to brief the media persons about the prime minister’s visit.

The Saudi leadership, he said, gave much importance to the PM’s visit and the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman himself came to receive the prime minister at the airport.

The Crown Prince has also accepted the invitation to visit Pakistan adding the year 2021 would be a yare of visit by the Arab Islamic world
Ashrafi said the establishment of Pak Saudi Supreme Coordination Council, agreements in various fields would strengthen religious, trade, economic and social ties.

The Prime Minister during his meetings with the leadership of Saudi Arabia, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Rabita-e-Alam-e-Islami and Imams of the Holy Mosques discussed practical steps for resolving the issues of Islamophobia, blasphemy on a permanent basis.

Pakistan he said was expanding cooperation with Saudi Arabia in various fields including trade, economy, media and defense.

During the visit, support to oppressed Kashmiris in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJK) and Palestinians was reiterated besides condemning atrocities and brutalities against both Kashmiris and Palestinians and the OIC was asked to take immediate action in this regard.

Ashrafi was of the view that all rumours regarding Pak-Saudi relations had been foiled by the PM’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia Rumours were constantly circulating to sour the Pak-Saudi relations for more than a year, he regretted adding some vested interests were actively targeting welfare and charity work of the Markaz Malik Salman despite the very successful visit of the premier.

He said the Youm-e-Palestine (Palestine Day) would be observed across the country on coming Friday to express solidarity with Palestinian cause.

The day will be observed on the appeal of Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) as the entire Pakistani nation as well as the government was standing by their Palestinian brothers and sisters and against the Israeli atrocities. Israeli brutalities against Palestinians would be condemned on the occasion, he said.