Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman speaks out on takeover reports

Posted February 18, 2019

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had "ordered the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners", after a request by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry said in a post on Twitter.

In all, seven agreements, including MoUs in power, petrochemical and mining sectors, were inked at a ceremony in the Prime Minister House.

The luncheon was also attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Pakistan is closely allied with Saudi Arabia, but has tried to maintain a balancing act between Riyadh and Tehran.

President Arif Alvi conferred Prince Mohammed bin Salman with country's highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Pakistan, at the President House in a lavish ceremony organized in the honour of the royal dignitary.

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Pakistan Air Force F-16 and JF-17 aircrafts earlier escorted the Crown Prince's jet as it entered Pakistani airspace and landed at Noor Khan Airbase around 8pm.

The crown prince's tour is expected to finish with two days in China on Thursday and Friday.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan, breaking the protocol, drove a Mercedes Benz carrying Saudi Crown Prince to the PM's house.

Prince Mohammad will later travel to neighboring India amid heightened tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi over this week's attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 41 troops.

The attack has sparked widespread calls in India for action against Pakistan.

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Currently, Pakistan is facing a major debt and payment crisis scenario, and this deal comes as a big boost for the nation.

"On the flip side, there is reassurance that Saudi Arabia will not only continue to serve as a strategic friend who will help shore up Pakistan's finances when needed, but it's also going to become a participant in the wider investment in Pakistan". Pakistani police commandos and paramilitary soldiers stand guard at a highway to ensure security ahead of Saudi Arabia's crown prince visit to Pakistan, in Islamabad on Sunday.

Managing the India-Pakistan minefield will test Prince Mohammed's diplomatic skills.

Reports in America late previous year claimed that the Central Intelligence Agency had evidence the crown prince ordered the assassination of Saudi Arabian dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. - AFP In this photo released by Pakistan's Press Information Department, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman holds official talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Sunday. At places cultural troupe depicting the regional culture seemed welcoming the Saudi Crown Prince by presenting traditional dance.

Keeping in view the significance of Pak-Saudi relations, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) accorded a warm welcome to the crown prince.

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Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are both involved in a months-long push led by Washington aimed at ending the conflict in Afghanistan.