Pak Saudi Relations: PM, Army chief to visit Saudi Arabia

Pak Saudi Relations: PM, Army chief to visit Saudi Arabia

Pakistan Press Islamabad: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will visit Saudi Arabia next week for a bilateral meeting with the kingdom’s leadership.

Though the date of the premier’s visit has not been announced yet, he is expected to travel to Saudi Arabia on Nov 27. He will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa and ISI chief Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar.

The visit will be a day after the inauguration of Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) — a 41-nation coalition against terrorism — in Riyadh on Nov 26. Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman will open a meeting of the ministers of the Defense Council to mark the beginning of the activities.

Pak Saudi Relations: PM, Army chief to visit Saudi Arabia

Pak Saudi Relations: PM, Army chief to visit Saudi Arabia

The prime minister’s visit is being linked to the inauguration of the coalition by many.

The IMCTC has identified core areas of its activities as ‘ideology, communications, counterterrorism financing and military’, but still there is scanty information as to how it will function and what will be the contribution of individual partners.

Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir will represent the country in the meeting and will leave for the kingdom on Saturday, sources at the ministry said.

On Friday, Khawaja Asif briefed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on the evolving situation in the Middle East, its implications for Pakistan and improvements in Pak-Iran ties at an in-camera session.

Detailed discussion on these issues, according to a source, could not take place due to the lack of quorum after one of the members, Dr Shireen Mazari, walked out of the meeting in protest over the chair’s refusal to send the Ratification of International Treaties Bill 2013 to the assembly.

“For four years, the PML-N has been holding up the bill in the committee on one pretext or the other. All the bill seeks is to allow parliament to pass a resolution on ratification of international treaties that Pakistan signs,” Dr Mazari tweeted after walking out of the meeting.

She further said that both the PML-N and bureaucracy were afraid of granting the National Assembly oversight on country’s international commitments. “The PML-N’s anti-democratic mindset is obvious,” she added.


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