Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Pakistan on Sunday, when he signed deal with India’s hostile neighbour worth $20 billion, providing the much-needed boost to the country’s struggling economy.
Saudi Crown Prince, also known as MBS, was welcomed by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at Nur Khan airbase, where he was accorded a 21-gun salute. This is his first visit to Pakistan since being declared heir to the throne in 2017.
A report by Al-Jazeera said that two leaders held direct talks in Islamabad, followed by the signing of investment deals in the areas of petrochemicals, energy, minerals, sports and other sectors.
Appreciating the Saudi commitment towards Pakistan, Khan said, “Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are now taking this relationship to a level which we never had before. A relationship where it will now be investment between the two countries which will mutually benefit from it.”
MBS agreed with Khan and said, “We believe Pakistan is going to be a very important country in the coming future, and we want to be part of that.”
The visit by MBS to Pakistan and his subsequent commitment for $20 billion worth agreements assume significance in the wake of the last week’s terror attack in Pulwama, killing 42 Indian soldiers. Reacting to the deadliest attack on the Indian armed forces, the Indian government had vowed to isolate Pakistan diplomatically.
The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security, which is the highest decision-making body on security, headed by the prime minister- had met on Friday, a day after the Pulwama terror attack and reportedly decided to launch a massive diplomatic effort to isolate Pakistan. Some reports even suggested that the Indian government had prepared a detailed dossier on Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack. The dossier, according to reports by pro-government media outlets, will be used to leave Pakistan isolated in the international community.
The Sunday’s visit by Saudi Crown Prince and Saudi Arabia signing contracts worth $20 billion have come as an early setback to India.
MBS will next travel to India, where he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan before flying to China for a two-day visit on Thursday and Friday.