Saudi military commander lauds Pakistan army’s efforts for regional peace

Lieutenant General Fahad Bin Abdullah Mohammad Al-Motair, Commander of the Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF), meets Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi on Sept. 30, 2019. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 01 October 2019

Saudi military commander lauds Pakistan army’s efforts for regional peace

  • The visiting Saudi general met with Pakistan army chief to discuss matters of mutual and professional interest, ISPR says
  • Both sides also discussed the training and capacity building of the Royal Saudi Land Forces

ISLAMABAD: Lt. Gen. Fahad Bin Abdullah Mohammad Al-Motair, Commander of the Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF), met Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi on Monday to discuss regional security situation.
According to an official handout circulated by the military’s media wing, ISPR, the Saudi commander was also accompanied by the Kingdom’s envoy to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, and was given a Guard of Honor at the army’s General Headquarters. Al-Motair also paid tribute to martyred soldiers, laying a floral wreath at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada (Martyrs’ Memorial).
During the meeting, Bajwa expressed Pakistan army’s resolute support toward the training and capacity building of RSLF personnel. Both sides discussed matters of mutual and professional interests, the statement added.
Before the conclusion of the meeting, Al-Motair applauded Pakistan Army’s professionalism and praised its efforts for peace and regional stability.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy close diplomatic relations. The administration in Islamabad has heavily relied on the Kingdom for economic and diplomatic support. The Saudi authorities also came its rescue by offering it a $6 billion relief package in the face of a massive current account deficit and balance-of-payments crisis confronting Pakistan’s cash-strapped economy.
Prime Minister Khan visited the Kingdom a number of times in the last one year. The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also visited Pakistan in February this year and expressed keen interest to invest in Pakistan’s economy.


Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

Updated 14 November 2019

Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

  • New skills-based system to be launched from next month
  • Will include India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Starting next month, Saudi Arabia will introduce a new skilled foreign manpower program that will eventually include Pakistan, a senior official at the Saudi labor ministry said this week. 

Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor, said on Tuesday in Riyadh that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes.

Under the new policy, visas would be issued only after skill tests and the previous system would be gradually phased out. 

The new scheme would be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it would become compulsory, Al-Omair said. The new program would first be applied to manpower recruited from India due to its large size in the Saudi market.

Eventually, the program will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Saudi Arabia is home to around 2.6 million Pakistani expats those have been a vital source of foreign remittances.

Last year the country received $21.8 billion in remittances out of which $5 billion were remitted by Pakistani nationals working in Kingdom.

According to the Pakistani ministry of finance, there was a major decline in manpower export to Saudi Arabia where only 100,910 emigrants proceeded for employment in 2018 as compared to 2017, a drop of 42,453 emigrants.

However, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, special assistant to the Pakistani prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, said in an interview earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase the share of the Pakistani labor force in the multi-billion dollar New Taif City development.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have formed working groups to develop procedures for this transfer of manpower. Pakistani groups will visit the Kingdom in the coming months to finalize arrangements.