King Salman holds bilateral talks with Alvi

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives Pakistan's President Arif Alvi in Riyadh on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy: President's Office)
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Pakistan's President Arif Alvi with the governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar. Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs, Noor ul Haq Qadri with President Arif Alvi in Madinah. (Photo courtesy: President's Office)
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Governor Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar received Pakistan's President Alvi at the airport. (Photo courtesy: President's Office)
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Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs, Noor ul Haq Qadri with President Arif Alvi in Madinah. (Photo courtesy: President's Office)
Updated 12 December 2018

King Salman holds bilateral talks with Alvi

  • Both leaders reviewed matters of mutual interest, including trade ties and investment opportunities
  • President welcomed Kingdom's initiative to increase Pakistani pilgrims' quota to 5,000

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz received Pakistan's President Arif Alvi at the Yamama palace in Riyadh on Wednesday, a statement released by the president’s office read.
During the meeting, the two leaders discussed matters of mutual interest, bilateral ties, trade, investment, and economic relations.
Pakistan’s acting ambassador in Riyadh, Zeeshan Ahmed, and consul general in Jeddah, Sheheryar Akbar Khan also accompanied the president in the meeting.
President Alvi was received by the governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar when he arrived in the capital from Madinah.
The president reached Saudi Arabia on Sunday to perform Umrah, marking his first visit to the Kingdom since assuming office in September this year.
Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malki also accompanied the president on his journey.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Press Information Department (PID) tweeted on Wednesday that the Minister for Religious Affairs, Noor ul Haq Qadri -- who is also in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah -- met with President Alvi in Madinah and briefed him about the ongoing talks with the Saudi authorities pertaining to the Hajj agreements.
“President welcomed additional 5,000 quota for Pakistani pilgrims granted by Saudi govt,” a statement released by the PID read.
On Monday, both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to increase the annual Hajj quota for Pakistan in 2019.
Targeting an increase of 5,000 pilgrims next year, authorities said nearly 184,210 Pakistanis will be able to perform Hajj.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy close bilateral relations, with historic trade ties and religious affinity providing a strong basis of trust between the two countries.


Protests mount in Indian-administered Kashmir clampdown

Updated 15 September 2019

Protests mount in Indian-administered Kashmir clampdown

  • Tensions remain high in the disputed Himalayan region
  • New Delhi last month to revoked the territory’s decades old semi-autonomous status

SRINAGAR, India: Kashmir has seen an average of nearly 20 protests per day against Indian rule over the last six weeks despite a security lockdown to quell unrest, a senior government source said.
Tensions remain high in the disputed Himalayan region after New Delhi’s controversial decision last month to revoke the territory’s decades old semi-autonomous status.
Despite a curfew, movement restrictions and the severe curtailment of Internet and mobile phone services, public demonstrations against India — mostly in the largest city Srinagar — have been constant, the source said late Saturday.
Altogether there have been 722 protests since August 5, with Baramulla district in the northwest and Pulwama in the south the biggest hotspots after Srinagar, the source said.
Since that date, nearly 200 civilians and 415 security force members have been hurt, according to the source.
Ninety-five of the civilians were injured in the last two weeks, the official said.
So far more than 4,100 people — including 170 local political leaders — have been detained across the valley, with 3,000 released in the past two weeks, the official said.
It was unclear whether any politicians were among those released.
Indian authorities have so far insisted that outbreaks of violence have been minimal, and that only five civilians have died since the clampdown started.
The relatives of four of those killed said they believed the security forces were responsible for their deaths.
The latest updates came as police said Thursday that three men suspected of belonging to a Pakistan-based militant organization were arrested while transporting weapons and ammunition toward Indian Kashmir.
Nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir, which was split between the two countries in 1947.
India deployed extra troops ahead of the August 5 decision to reinforce some 500,000 soldiers already stationed in the region, one of the most militarized places on the planet.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday promised to raise the decision to strip Indian Kashmir of its autonomy at the upcoming UN General Assembly session.