ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan continued to receive messages of felicitation from world leaders as Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud congratulated him on his party’s victory in the last month’s general elections.

State-run news agency APP on Sunday quoted the Saudi Press Agency as saying that the Saudi king conveyed to the prime minister-in-waiting best wishes from the kingdom and its people for the progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman also felicitated the PTI chairman and expressed good wishes and prayed for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki was the first diplomat to have met Mr Khan even when the poll results were still pouring in.

Later Mr Khan also received a number of diplomats from various countries at his Banigala residence.

During his meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost, the PTI chief had offered mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia to resolve differences between the two countries.

Welcoming the offer, the Iranian envoy had termed the situation in the region sensitive and said: “Iran will welcome any proposal from Pakistan aimed at bringing peace to the region.”

Later, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani telephoned Mr Khan to personally congratulate him on his party’s success in the July 25 elections and expressed willingness to further improve bilateral relations. He had also extended an invitation to Mr Khan to visit Iran after taking the oath as prime minister, which was reportedly accepted by the latter.

Earlier, acting US Ambassador to Pakistan John Hoover along with a delegation had also called on the PTI chief and discussed with the latter issues of mutual interest.

Expressing Pakistan’s desire to see complete stability in Afghanistan, Mr Khan had said that he had always stressed the need for a political solution to the Afghan problems. The PTI chief asserted that war and use of power was not a solution to Afghanistan’s problems and that stability in the war-torn country would prove to be in the best interests of not only the United States and Pakistan but also the region.

The ambassadors of Japan, European Union and Russia had also met Mr Khan and showed their readiness to cooperate with the future PTI-led government in Pakistan.

Last week, Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria also called on Mr Khan at his Banigala residence. During the meeting, Mr Khan had reportedly pushed for the “resumption of talks between Pakistan and India”. He had also expressed the hope that the Saarc conference would soon be held in Islamabad.

Mr Khan had received telephone calls from a number of world leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the parliamentary group of the PTI in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was held in Peshawar to discuss the strategy for the inaugural session of the provincial assembly.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2018

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