Stronger economic ties with KSA

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PRIME Minister Imran Khan Tuesday expressed gratitude for Saudi Arabia’s economic support to Pakistan and the initiatives which were underway to build a stronger economic relationship between the two countries. Talking to the visiting Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud in Islamabad, he appreciated the contribution of the Saudi royal family for the welfare work in Pakistan.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed unique relations and there is will and determination on both sides to take this relationship to new heights to the mutual advantage as has been highlighted by the remarks made by the Premier during his meeting with the visiting dignitary. Leadership of Saudi Arabia has been taking keen interest in the development of Pakistan and welfare of its people and this became evident not just through generous gestures of economic and financial assistance during difficult periods of Pakistan’s history but initiation of welfare projects to ameliorate the lot of the common man. An example in point is Sultana Foundation, which has brought modern education within the reach of otherwise disadvantaged segments of the society. It started as a two-room primary school for boys in 1994 but currently has eight diversified educational entities including college of professional education, Institute of Technology, degree college for women, research centre and think tank besides project of University of Human Development. The welfare project is contributing significantly in efforts to empower the poor and especially girls from backward areas. Apart from this, Saudis have sponsored housing projects for the poor, development of basic healthcare units in rural areas, construction of schools and skill centres for children as well as social uplift projects like building of mosques. As for economic ties, these are, at present, mainly centred on Saudi oil supplies to Pakistan and export of manpower to KSA and there is need to diversify the economic engagement by way of launching of joint projects. It is also to be noted that during interaction between Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Prime Minister Imran Khan, the former expressed his resolve to invest billions of dollars in Pakistan’s economy and high level exchanges are taking place to identify projects and areas for the purpose. This process should be accelerated for the sake of betterment of the people of the two countries.