LAHORE, Friday, August 14, 2020 (WNP/DL): Saudi Ambassador Nawaf Bin Saeed Ahmed Al-Malkiy Friday called on Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and some religious parties here.
The Saudi ambassador’s meetings are being seen as part of an effort to mobilise support for his country.
Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, leader of the Pakistan Ulema Council, flew to Saudi Arabia last week to discuss the relations between the two countries.
The PML-Q leadership had on Thursday expressed dismay over the ‘language’ used by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi about the brotherly country during a talk show recently.
PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also criticised the foreign minister’s remarks.
Riyadh has reportedly demanded repayment of its $3 billion loan extended to Islamabad in 2018. A third of it has been paid and negotiations are continuing for the payment of the remaining amount.
A handout issued after the meeting between Ambassador Al-Malkiy and CM Buzdar said the two discussed Pak-Saudi relations and promotion of bilateral cooperation.
The chief minister said Pakistanis had a long-lasting spiritual attachment with Saudi Arabia and the people of both countries were linked in the bond of brotherhood. The cooperation extended by the Saudi government for development of Pakistan is praiseworthy.
Buzdar said the foundation stone of Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project had been laid. “It’s planned to develop a new Lahore to keep the city’s environment clean. It will provide secure investment opportunities to national and international investors and Saudi investors can take advantage of such opportunities in the project,” he said, according to the statement.
The Saudi ambassador appreciated the steps taken for the development of the social sector and took keen interest in the Ravi project, said the handout.
A press release issued by the PML-Q said that during his meeting with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, the ambassador said Saudi Arabia stood by Pakistan at every difficult time.
He said observance of standard operating procedures was ensured on the occasion of Haj. Pilgrims would soon be allowed to go to Saudi Arabia for performing Umrah in accordance with these measures, he added.