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Islamabad rolls out red carpet for Saudi crown prince today

Updated February 17, 2019

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Motorcyclists pass by a banner welcoming Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman displayed on the occasion of his visit, in Lahore. ─ AP
Motorcyclists pass by a banner welcoming Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman displayed on the occasion of his visit, in Lahore. ─ AP

ISLAMABAD: Amid heightened security, Saudi Crown Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) is arriving here on Sunday (today) on his first-ever visit to Pakistan after his elevation to the position of crown prince of Saudi Arabia in April 2017.

The crown prince, who is visiting Pakistan on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, will be accorded a red carpet welcome and presented a guard of honour at the PM House after his arrival at Noor Khan Air Base in Rawalpindi.

Take a look: MBS visit: Everything you need to know

A high-powered delegation comprising key ministers and some prominent businessmen, besides members of the royal family, is also coming with the crown prince.

According to official media, the crown prince will be received by Prime Minister Khan and members of his cabinet at the air base.

Tight security arrangements put in place in Islamabad, Rawalpindi

Earlier, the crown prince was due to reach Pakistan on Saturday, but his arrival was delayed for a day for unknown reasons.

Islamabad is describing the visit as a “historical one” which will help stabilise the crippling economy of the country as over $21 billion MoUs are likely to be inked between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia during the visit.

Not only the government but the opposition has also hailed the visit of the crown prince as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shahbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari have welcomed the crown prince in their statements.

Two receptions will be held in the Presidency and Prime Minister House in honour of the crown prince during which one-on-one meetings between him and President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan will take place. The crown prince will also meet Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2019