Pakistan confers Saudi Army Chief with Order of Excellence award

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President Arif Alvi confers the Chief of General Staff of the Royal Saudi Armed Forces, General Fayiadh bin Hamed bin Ragad Al-Rowaily, with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) military award on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy: PID)
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President Arif Alvi in a meeting with Chief of General Staff of the Royal Saudi Armed Forces, General Fayiadh bin Hamed bin Ragad Al-Rowaily, at the President House in Islamabad on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy: PID)
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Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat held a meeting with Chief of the General Staff, Armed Forces of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, General Fayyadh bin Hamid Al Ruwaili at Joint Staff Headquarters on Tuesday.
Updated 24 January 2019
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Pakistan confers Saudi Army Chief with Order of Excellence award

  • Islamabad attaches great importance to its unique relations with Riyadh, President Alvi says
  • Notes a hike in trade and investment ties between the two countries

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s President Dr. Arif Alvi conferred the prestigious Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) military award on the Saudi Army Chief on Tuesday.

The award is a state-organized civilian honor which recognizes achievements for Pakistan or an outstanding service for one’s own country. It is not limited to citizens of Pakistan and, while it is a civilian award, it can also be awarded to military personnel.

General Fayiadh bin Hamed bin Ragad Al-Rowaily was conferred with the award at a special ceremony – held at the President House in Islamabad on Tuesday – which was attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, and other senior officials.

Later, General Al-Rowaily held a meeting with the president where the two discussed matters of mutual interest.  “Pakistan attaches great importance to its unique and brotherly relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which are based on mutual trust and wishes to expand cooperation in all fields,” a statement released by the President Office read.

President Alvi expressed satisfaction at the close defense and cooperation ties between the two countries, adding that it had scope for more growth particularly in the field of defense production.

“He also highlighted the ever-accelerating trade and investment relations between both the countries,” the statement read, adding that the president underlined the importance of Pakistani expatriates who were making tremendous contributions to the progress and development of Saudi Arabia. “They can play an important role in the implementation of Vision 2030 projects,” an excerpt from the statement read.

General Al-Rowaily thanked the president and the Government of Pakistan for the honor and said that he “hoped that the bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries would further grow in the future,” the statement added.

The Saudi Army Chief also co-chaired the fifth round of Pak-KSA JMCC meeting with Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat on Tuesday. Among other things, the meeting focused on regional security situation, bilateral military engagements, and training cooperation between the two countries.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy deep-rooted defense ties, with the armed forces of both the countries conducting joint exercises in Pakistan and the Kingdom on a regular basis.

Both the nations enjoy multi-faceted cooperation at various levels, too. Recently, Islamabad and Riyadh agreed to further enhance the existing cooperation in diverse fields.


First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019
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First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.