Pakistani cleric recovering in Saudi hospital

Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council
Updated 03 July 2018
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Pakistani cleric recovering in Saudi hospital

  • I’m recovering rapidly, Ashrafi told Arab News

JEDDAH: Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi is being treated in King Abdul Aziz Medical City in Riyadh for “medical complications” while on a personal visit to Saudi Arabia.

“I’m recovering rapidly,” Ashrafi told Arab News, without elaborating on the reason for his hospitalization.

“After successful surgery, doctors are satisfied about the recovery process. I’m grateful to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for having the best treatment.”

Ashrafi, a frequent visitor to the Kingdom, said senior Saudi officials visited him in the hospital and enquired about his health.

In May, Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh gave Ashrafi a special shield for 

his service to Muslim unity, and to the defense and protection of the Two Holy Mosques in the Kingdom. 


Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in Madinah during maiden visit to Saudi Arabia

Updated 6 min 10 sec ago
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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in Madinah during maiden visit to Saudi Arabia

  • Although bilateral relations and regional security are on the agenda of Imran Khan’s visit, a more urgent priority will be a possible economic bailout package from the KSA
  • The prime minister will call on King Salman and hold a bilateral meeting with the crown prince, said the Pakistan Foreign Office

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, beginning the initial leg of his first foreign tour since taking office in August.
The premier was welcomed at Madinah Airport by the Governor of Madinah, Faisal bin Salman, Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Hasham bin Saddique, and other members of the Pakistani consulate.
Khan, accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Adviser for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, is also scheduled to perform Umrah during his two-day stay in Saudi Arabia.
“The prime minister will call on His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz and hold a bilateral meeting with the crown prince (His Royal Highness Mohammad Bin Salman). The king will also host a state banquet for the prime minister at the Royal Court. Accompanying ministers will also meet their counterparts to discuss bilateral cooperation,” reads a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, will also call on the PM during his visit.
Although bilateral relations and the regional security situation are on the agenda of Khan’s visit, a more pertinent, urgent priority will be a possible economic bailout package sought from Saudi Arabia by the new Pakistani Government.
In 2014, six months after Pakistan obtained its last IMF bailout, Saudi Arabia loaned Pakistan $1.5 billion, which the government used to strengthen its currency. Pakistan’s current account deficit increased to 43 percent ($18 billion) in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Analysts, however, told Reuters that a fresh bailout package from the IMF, which would be Pakistan’s 13th since the late 1980s, is inevitable.
While the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Government has been debating several options to plug the hole in Pakistan’s rapidly draining foreign exchange reserves, it is also avidly trying to seek financial assistance from allied countries (including Saudi Arabia, China and the UAE) as opposed to going to the IMF.
Before the visit, Finance Minister Asad Umar said that IMF assistance would remain a “fallback option.”