Pakistan considers Saudi Arabia an important partner, says minister

Pakistan considers Saudi Arabia an important partner, says minister
Saudi Arabia has historically remained the single largest source of remittances to Pakistan with $399.56 million received in April 2018 alone, according to a report by the State Bank of Pakistan. (Photo/Twitter)
Updated 30 September 2018

Pakistan considers Saudi Arabia an important partner, says minister

Pakistan considers Saudi Arabia an important partner, says minister
  • Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share 'historic and strategic ties' which the incumbent government aims to strengthen further, says Minister for Information and Broadcast Fawad Chaudhry
  • Saudi Arabia can play a pivotal role in forging Muslim unity and improve Pakistan-US ties, believe experts

ISLAMABAD: “There are historic brotherly relations between our two countries and Pakistan considers Saudi Arabia an important partner,” Fawad Chaudhry, minister for information and broadcast, told Arab News.  
Pakistan has "historic and strategic ties" with Saudi Arabia and the incumbent government will strengthen them further, he added.  
Noor ul Haq Qadri, Pakistan's minister of religious affairs and interfaith harmony, told Arab News, “To travel to Saudi Arabia and strengthen ties will be PM Khan’s first priority.”  
Last month, congratulating Khan on his election victory, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed a range of bilateral issues with the prime minister, ending the call with an invitation for the prime minister to visit the country.
“Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Pakistan had enormous trade and economic opportunities and his country was keen to make investment in Pakistan and strengthen bilateral trade relations,” Pakistan's state-run television PTV said after the telephone conversation.
Sen. Lt. Gen. (retired) Abdul Qayum told Arab News that Khan’s visit to Saudi would be a good start for the government because of the deep-rooted ties between Islamabad and Riyadh.
The visit “will go well with the public," Qayum said, adding that the move would cement the love and respect that many Pakistanis have for the country. "Pakistan also knows that for forging Muslim unity, Saudi Arabia can play a pivotal role,” he added. 
“Saudi Arabia can also play a pivotal role in improving Pakistan-US ties,” said Qayum, adding that Khan can also discuss Pakistan's financial woes with Saudi Arabia given the country's cash-strapped economy which is strugglng to survive and desperately looking for foreign investment. 
“During his visit to Saudi Arabia, Imran Khan can perhaps discuss Pakistan’s financial woes with the Kingdom,” Qayum said. 
There are nearly 1.6 million Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia, making them the second-largest group of expatriates living in the country. The majority of them are blue collar workers.

Saudi Arabia has historically remained the single largest source of remittances to Pakistan with $399.56 million received in April 2018 alone, according to a report by the State Bank of Pakistan.