President Alvi confers Nishan-e-Pakistan on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman

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ISLAMABAD: On the second day of the royal visit, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman – flanked by Prime Minister Imran Khan – was escorted to the Aiwan-e-Sadr in a carriage on Monday to attend a luncheonhosted by President Arif Alvi in the royal guest’s honour.

A special contingent of Presidential security guards escorted the chariot.

The premier and Saudi prince were received by President Alvi, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and others at the main gate of the President House.

In an investiture ceremony, the president conferred the Nishan-e-Pakistan, highest civilian award, on the Saudi prince.

After the ceremony, top civil-military leadership and the royal guests headed for the luncheon, hosted by President Alvi.

The crown prince also held a one-on-one meeting with the president.

Earlier in the day, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on the crown prince at the PM house. During the meeting, Mohammad bin Salman lauded professional capacities of the Pakistan armed forces. The two leaders agreed on enhancing defence cooperation between the two countries.

The crown prince’s schedule listed meetings with a Senate delegation led by Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and another led by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser. Both Senate and NA delegations included members of the treasury and opposition benches.

In the meetings, the crown prince discussed issues pertaining to promote bilateral parliamentary contacts.

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The Senate delegation called on the crown prince at the PM house. Senate chairman gifted Mohammad bin Salman a portrait and a gold-plated gun.

At the end of the two-day visit, PM Imran along with members of his cabinet will see of the crown prince and the royal entourage at the Nur Khan airbase.

MBS in Pakistan

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was accorded a royal welcome as he landed Sunday evening at the Nur Khan airbase. A formation of JF-17 thunder jets and F-16 fighter jets escorted the plane of the crown prince after its entry into the Pakistani airspace. On arrival, the crown prince was given a 21-gun salute.

PM Imran Khan, the COAS and top civil-military officials greeted Prince Mohammed on the red carpet of a military airport in the garrison town of Rawalpindi. The prime minister then personally drove the crown prince to federal capital and on to the PM House.

At the PM House, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed contracts and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) pertaining to investments in various projects.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said the first phase of investment of $20 billion in Pakistan has been completed while more investments will be made in the future.

The MoUs were signed in diverse fields, including energy, power, petrochemical, mineral resources and sports, to give a fillip to the cooperation.

The agreements included technical cooperation programme in the field of standardisations/quality control, framework on the development of renewable energy products, study on investment opportunities for the establishment of an integrated complex (refinery petrochemical plant), mineral resources, framework for power generation, and agreement for cooperation in the field of sports.

After the signing ceremony, the guests proceeded for dinner where the crown prince pledged further investments for Pakistan and hoped the country will further develop under the leadership of PM Imran.

The prime minister described the crown prince’s arrival as an auspicious moment for the country, adding Saudi Arabia has always been a friendly nation for Pakistan and the Saudi leadership commanded high respect in the hearts of Pakistanis.

In a surprice move, PM Imran requested the Saudi government to take special care of Pakistan’s labour force in the kingdom. He mentioned the thousands of Pakistanis languishing in Saudi jails. The crown prince pledged to look into the matter. “Consider me Pakistan’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

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