King Salman: Islamic countries need knowledge revival
King Salman: Islamic countries need knowledge revival
Speaking on behalf of King Salman at the opening session of the summit on Sunday, Minister of Energy, Industry and Natural Resources Khalid Al-Falih said that the Islamic countries need today, more than ever, a knowledge revival in light of mega challenges they are facing in a world where competition for knowledge is raging and becoming the cornerstone of economic success.
Al-Falih said the achievement of the revival is based on four pillars, the first of which is development of education, which has to be based on encouragement of innovation and free thinking in a manner that will be a platform for the discovery of the talented and their promotion.
The second pillar, he said, is based on the encouragement of scientific and technical research and ensuring provision of finance, whether from the public or private sector.
The third pillar rests on building an integrated system where creators and their ideas are being cared for to ensure that their scientific research is transferred into practical applications with economic value, he said.
The fourth pillar rests on the establishment of cooperation and integration within one country, and between countries and global organizations such as the OIC, he said.
He said while the state organs represent the key to running the engine of the revival, efforts must expand to include public and private institutions as well as community members.
Meanwhile, the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, said that this summit comes at a crucial time for OIC countries. “It comes in the midst of unprecedented political, economic and security variables, which put the OIC in one trench to meet the challenges of the age.”
Al-Othaimeen said: “Political and security solutions to contemporary problems should be accompanied by effective social, cultural and economic plans based on science and knowledge.”
PM Khan bats his way back into the hearts of diaspora
- Expatriates in Saudi say proud to welcome favorite cricketer back as PM
- First foreign visit illustrates depth of relations with Kingdom, envoy says
RIYADH: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to choose the Kingdom for his first foreign trip was hailed by various sections of the Saudi and Pakistani communities on Tuesday, with a majority saying that the move speaks volumes about the camaraderie enjoyed by the two states.
Khan assumed office on August 18 and talks of his impending visit to Saudi had been doing the rounds ever since. He arrived in the Kingdom on Tuesday on the invitation of King Salman for a two-day visit, following which he will head to the UAE.
Speaking on behalf of the community and welcoming the premier to the Kingdom, Pakistani Ambassador in Riyadh, Khan Hasham Bin Saddique, told Arab News that PM Khan’s acceptance of the invitation “speaks volumes not only about the bilateral relations but also about the great importance he attaches to it”.
“The entire Pakistani community is eagerly looking forward to the visit, which I am sure will usher in a new era of cultural and economic ties,” he said.
Terming the Pakistan-Saudi bond as historic and time-tested, Saddique added that the two countries “have always stood by each other in the time of need.” “The people of Pakistan hold Saudi Arabia and its visionary leaders, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the highest esteem,” he said.
Detailing the schedule for the two-day visit, Saddique said the two sides are set to discuss several bilateral, regional and international issues, specifically matters related to the welfare of the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia and ways to enhance cultural ties.
Speaking to Arab News about the timing and significance of the visit, Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, a senior member of the Shoura Council said: “The visit assumes greater significance as the two countries share a historical friendship…which progressed into deeper relations as a result of visits by top officials from both sides.”
He added that the Kingdom was a host to more two million Pakistanis and the only way to value those relations and take them forward was by “working together in areas of defense, oil cooperation and economy” to further enhance trade and investment ties.
“The Pakistani government is also fighting terrorism like us…the two countries can cooperate with each to fight it,” he said, adding that Riyadh is also helping Islamabad improve and stabilize its relations with neighboring Afghanistan.
Acknowledging the political impact of PM Khan’s visit, Dr. Majed Abdullah Al Hedayan, a FDI expert, analyst and former head of legal affairs, at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, told Arab News that the move reinstates the fact that “the two countries are united on issues of political and strategic importance in the Middle East” – something which acts as evidence of the growing cooperation between the Islamic countries in dealing with issues of mutual concern.
Expressing hope that as a representative of the Pakistani community in Saudi PM Khan would take measures for them, Ghaffar Ahmed Khan, a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and a short-filmmaker in Riyadh told Arab News: “We want him to take measures for Pakistani expats living in Saudi Arabia and are extremely hopeful that the agenda of his meetings will include the welfare of the Pakistani workers. We want him to boost bilateral ties, especially in the art and entertainment sector.”
The Kingdom lifted a decades-long ban by opening its first cinema on April 18, a move which Khan says could work in favor of Pakistan’s entertainment industry as more films can now be screened in the country.
Zakariya Ahmed, an overseas Pakistani residing in the capital, says he’s admired PM Khan since his cricketing days and that his visit was a proud moment for the diaspora because “he was no longer visiting the country as a celebrity but as the prime minister of Pakistan”.
Following a congratulatory call from King Salman on his election win, PM Khan – in a statement released by the PTI -- had said at the time that “Pakistan considers Saudi Arabia’s security to be of crucial importance and safety of the holy sites in the Kingdom was part of their faith”.
Saudi’s relations with Pakistan date back to 1947 when the country was first formed. A friendship treaty was signed by the two in 1951, laying the basis for cooperation. Bilateral relations improved over the years due to strong financial and strategic assistance which both Riyadh and Islamabad extended to each other in times of need. Saudi Arabia continues to be home to the largest number of Pakistani expatriates and has provided employment opportunities to both high-skilled urban professionals and unskilled laborers from the remotest parts of Pakistan.
A number of monuments in Pakistan bear testimony to the allegiance that the country has for the Kingdom. Prime among them is The International Islamic University in Islamabad which was established with a grant of $10 million from Saudi Arabia and is a world-renowned varsity. Additionally, the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, a key landmark building in the capital, is named after King Faisal, while the third largest city in Pakistan was renamed Faisalabad as a tribute to the ruler.