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President Mamnoon Hussain. — File photo
President Mamnoon Hussain. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Amid controversy over $1.5 billion received by the Nawaz government from Saudi Arabia, President Mamnoon Hussain backed on Tuesday the government’s policy and expressed the hope that it would help overcome the prevailing economic crisis.

“The aid has not been received from a smuggler but from a friendly country and it will be used for the welfare of the country and people,” the president said during a meeting with newly-elected office-bearers of National Press Club (NPC) who called on him at the Presidency on Tuesday.

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz told parliament on Monday that the $1.5 billion aid had been given by Saudi Arabia.

“The hue and cry is being made on the aid given by a brotherly country,” the president said.

He said the government was trying to rid the country of crisis and, therefore, different steps were being taken.

The opposition has strongly criticised the government for obtaining $1.5 billion grant from Saudi Arabia at the cost of Pakistan’s foreign policy on Syria.

According to a press release issued by the NPC, the president said that borders should not become a hurdle in the way of friendly relations among different counties.

“Sometimes one has to adopt hypocrisy in international relations,” the press release quoted the president as saying.

The president said that it was the desire of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Pakistan should have friendly relations with all neighbouring countries. “Aman Ki Asha is a slogan of an organisation, but the prime minister wants friendly relations with all neighbours,” he added.

Talking about his recent visit to China, the president claimed that China would invest $32 billion over the next five years in Pakistan which included investment in 22,000MW electricity generation facility, in a nuclear power project in Karachi, a 4,000km rail and road link from Kashgar to Gwadar to Karachi, the Karachi Motorway, the Gwadar International Airport, Development of Gwadar Port and the Orange Train project in Lahore.

Besides, he said, some defence agreements would also be signed between Pakistan and China in near future.

He said once Pakistan became an economic corridor it would benefit several countries of the region.

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

Comments (41) Closed

karim Mar 19, 2014 08:11am

Thank you for coming out of your cave. I am just glad to see him talk. I was getting worried about him.

Danish Mar 19, 2014 08:36am

Shahryar Shirazi Mar 19, 2014 08:43am

Really, did the president use the word "hypocrisy" in the official statement. Can some one teach him the etiquettes of statesmen's lingo ? Shahryar

Nadeem Mar 19, 2014 08:47am

It seems the president is unable to distinguish between 'off the record' and 'on record' when talking with reporters

fida sayani Mar 19, 2014 08:58am

Amir Bangash Mar 19, 2014 09:31am

Pakistan enjoys brotherly relations with Arab countries since her existence and they have been extending help to the country in difficult situations. Saudi Arab or any other Arab country,s help to Pakistan should not be a cause of concern for the people and governments of other countries.

kashif Mar 19, 2014 09:58am

Khaa lay Khaa lay ...phir naheen milay ara hy ane dey

pathanoo Mar 19, 2014 10:01am

There is a very old but true saying that goes like this.... "It is better to be thought of as a fool and remain silent, then to speak up and remove all doubts." Unfortunatley, Mr. Mamnoon Husain just spoke up.

manzoor ahmed Mar 19, 2014 10:04am

IMRAN's slogan for TRUTH. Thank you Mr.President, at least a truth has come out. Your presence will start a new dimension ....... which will bring peace and harmony among citizen.

Thank you Mr. President.

Tallal Mar 19, 2014 10:12am

A country given another country "aid" without any strings attached? Mr. Mamnoon, go back to cave you were dwelling in before this statement.

ZR Mar 19, 2014 10:12am

Umer Mar 19, 2014 10:45am

This mamnoon hussain still alive?? i thought he is buried somewhere

Mir Mar 19, 2014 10:51am

There is nothing free in this world.. Please let the public know what services we have to provide , We have large army they are doing nothing at present. Let us give them some experiance in other pepoles civil war. This experiance will be applied to keep Pakistan safe.

Shahjee Mar 19, 2014 10:56am

Many Thanks To Our Saudi Bretheren

observer Mar 19, 2014 11:13am

@karim: He was better off when he was quiet. Now we are more worried (with what he has said).

Haider Mar 19, 2014 11:34am

it is Simply ridiculous saying that we are getting aid from the friendly country and this country is in dream to eliminate Shia from the world and Inshallah...dream will remain dream of them. LABAIK YA HUSSAIN (a.s)

Mujtaba Mar 19, 2014 12:13pm

Guys kisi cheez par to khush ho jaya karo :P

Random Passerby Mar 19, 2014 12:32pm

@Karim: With statements like these, he was better off living away from the cameras.

Parvez Mar 19, 2014 12:38pm

Well when the rumor gets out that he spent 10 million Rupees on his family's photographs..........then money has to come from somewhere and he has to defend it.

Mohammad Hassam Siddiqi Mar 19, 2014 12:48pm

I am astonished to read his statement and rather more astonished to see that his words are not being criticized among media and opposition.

Sajjad Ali Gopang Mar 19, 2014 12:50pm

I don't think that such a huge amount will be give without any reason?

Nauman Mar 19, 2014 03:05pm

Wah saeen bolta bhi hai !!!

Abdul Malik Mar 19, 2014 03:56pm

Just look at the lingo he is using ! smuggler & hypocrisy ? Did I read it correct? What does this so called President know about foreign economic relations. He is just a figure head appointed by the Nawaz Sharif. He was better off when there were no statement coming from him.

Masoud Mar 19, 2014 04:56pm

I think Saudi gesture should be appreciated. To majority of the Pakistanis Saudi Arabia is not just another country, Saudi Arabia is is considered as an elder brother, this is a very special feeling in the heart of Pakistanis.

Haroon Mar 19, 2014 05:09pm

the saudi 'bhallay' are more tasty then an other 'bhallay'

Abdul Wahab Mar 19, 2014 05:48pm

He should just eat dhahi bhalley and go back to sleepl, what disgrace he put on all pakistani people by saying "sometimes one has to adopt hypocricy".

Mohin Mar 19, 2014 06:36pm

@fida sayani: Why wait for Jinnah? Obviously when a state goes in the hands of a egg, chicken and goat sellers this is what we will hear. Thank God this guy has not been to other countries and hence made a fool of himself and a joke out of all of us. He shoudl now say the following morning prayer: O Lord! help me to keep my mouth shut and let everyone think that I am a fool before I open it and convince them.

Mohin Mar 19, 2014 06:41pm

Now Imran khan is right. We need to educate our masses starting with the President

Syed Ahmed Mar 19, 2014 07:22pm

There is nothing like Free Lunch.

DMDiL Mar 19, 2014 07:38pm

We got a President? faint :O

noon Mar 19, 2014 07:40pm

@manzoor ahmed: How will this bring peace among masses, can you please elaborate. I guess our nation has not learned the last time we played the same role during another jihad in the 80's which we are still having repercussions...guess who the financier was at that time?

noon Mar 19, 2014 07:43pm

@Amir Bangash: Please stop using the same old Pakistan Studies books line "Pakistan Enjoys Brotherly relations with Arab countries"...we only have brotherly relation countries which can give us dollars and in return we can do all their dirty work. BTW..Syria is a brotherly Arab country as well, how can you let your 2 "brotherly" arab countries fight.!!!!

Syed Ahmed Mar 19, 2014 08:20pm

Chinese Premier promises that

Feroze KN Mar 19, 2014 08:32pm

99.9% Pakistanis never knew who Mamnoon Hussain was , what were his qualifications ,until he was picked up by his business man friend Nawaz Sharif who put him in the presidency. He has finally emerged & country knows he is alive & well. He is just another spokesman of Nawaz Shaif.

SMQ Zaman Mar 19, 2014 10:46pm

Mr President, "the hue and cry being made" is not about aid of $1.5 billion (equivalent to Rs1.5 trillion, a huge amount of money for so-called humanitarian aid & development fund) given by a brotherly country, but by a country that is fighting a proxy war in Syria and which was angry with the USA for not taking retaliatory action against the Syrian Government and refused to take its seat on the UN's Security Council!

The public is rightly and deeply concerned (if the commentators and the media analysts views are taken into consideration as a representative sample) because there are no free-lunches in the business world and esp. between governments; please do not belittle and undermine the intelligentsia, intellectual and political awareness of the general public!

Your Govt., Sir, is playing a very dangerous game, which can further destabilise Pakistan and can seriously damage ties with Iran, when there is an existential threat of an 'all-out civil war within' imminently probable and for years to continue, should the peace-negotiations fail with the Pak. Taliban!

SMQ Zaman Mar 20, 2014 09:14am

Mr President - "the hue and cry is being made on the aid given by a brotherly country; the aid has not been received from a smuggler but from a friendly country and it will be used for the welfare of the country and people

NASAH(USA) Mar 20, 2014 07:55pm

@ZR:Bazari president -- bazari language. What else do you expect from an "ever grateful'?

qan Mar 21, 2014 09:26am

Wow! so this is the President

Tariq Masud Mar 21, 2014 02:43pm

@karim: You are spot on, me too was worried about him, he was quite for sometimes. I wish he can read the opinion of his awam/people

Salim A Mar 21, 2014 06:29pm

@Danish: Calling Saudis friends of Pakistan and Muslims is denying the ground realities. Every conflict and misery in the last 25-years in Muslim countries has their fingerprints all over them.. They are more aligned with Israel and colonial interests than Muslim. They actively keep poor Muslim countries under their religious doctrine with madressahs and work to deny democracy to the Muslim world.

The only reason people like you worship them is because they throw money at you. Stop BEGGING please.

Sana K Mar 22, 2014 04:59am

let me be very clear in saying that I think there really is a hidden agenda behind this windfall. For me it all starts with a secret phonecall from the Saudis right after when the Pak military started offensive attack on the N Waziristan. Saudis must've told them to not hurt them and they won't hurt you as they are needed somewhere else now. In Syria perhaps.