Saudi investment planned during my tenure: Nawaz

Updated February 15, 2019

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Former PM Nawaz Sharif and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shake hands at PM House during the latter's visit in 2016. — File photo
Former PM Nawaz Sharif and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shake hands at PM House during the latter's visit in 2016. — File photo

LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif claims that the Saudi investment Gulf kingdom’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is set to announce in his two-day visit to Pakistan, had been planned during his tenure.

“The civil and military top hierarchy knows the fact that Saudi Arabia had promised to make investment worth multi-billions of dollars when I was the prime minister,” Mr Sharif was quoted as having told PML-N leaders, who visited him at the Kot Lakhpat Jail on Thursday where he’s serving a seven-year jail term in a corruption case.

Those, who called on him included his mother Shamim, daughter Maryam, son-in-law Muhammad Safdar, former federal and Punjab ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Pervaiz Rashid, Mushahidullah Khan and Rana Sanaullah, Muhammad Mehdi, MNA Javed Latif, traders’ representative Naeem Mir and others.

One of the visitors told Dawn that Mian Sahib was in good humour during the meeting as he (Mr Sharif) stated that “the weather is fine but we’re incarcerated [unable to enjoy the environ outside the prison]”.

Mr Latif told the PML-N supreme leader that the masses were fully charged and needed leadership to guide them under the worst conditions created by the PTI government within six months and urged him to become [politically] active cautioning that “the situation may slip out of hands if remained inactive.”

Mr Iqbal told Mr Sharif that as the government has accepted IMF conditions price hike and dollar exchange rate are set to rise further to the disadvantage of the poor people.

On a query by the ex-premier about the prevailing business conditions, Naeem Mir informed him that all kinds of businesses were witnessing a slowdown and they’re planning a shutter down strike in Lahore as a protest against some policies of the government.

He said ex-speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and former Punjab finance minister Ayesha Ghaus-Pasha had prepared a report on the losses the trading community suffered recently and urged Mr Sharif to direct the PML-N parliamentarians to raise the issue in the house.

The PML-N leader was quoted as having directed Rana Sana and Javed Latif to discuss the report in the National Assembly and Senators Mushahid and Pervaiz Rashid in the Senate.

Mr Mehdi presented a book on Punjab mein Inqilabi Tehreeken (Revolutionary movements in Punjab) by Prof Satia Rai, while PML-N information secretary Senator Mushahid read some poetic work related to weather and Valentine’s Day.

Talking to the media outside the prison, Mr Mushahid said the party activists expressed their love for their leader on the Valentine’s Day. He hoped that Mr Sharif would soon be released and would put the country on democratic trajectory.

Talal Chaudhry alleged that the government desired to blackmail Nawaz Sharif on the health issue as the PML-N leader had been denied cardiac care facility for the last 28 days.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2019