PM arrives in Saudi Arabia

Published April 29, 2022
PM Sharif is welcomed on his arrival in Madina.—White Star
PM Sharif is welcomed on his arrival in Madina.—White Star

MADINA: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived here on Thursday on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on the invitation of Crown Prince Moham­med bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

This is the prime minister’s first visit abroad after assuming the office earlier this month.

Governor of Madina Faisal bin Salman Al Saud and high-level Saudi officials received the prime minister and members of his delegation.

The prime minister was accompanied by Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Miftah Ismail, Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khawaja Muha­m­mad Asif, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Mohsin Dawar and Maulana Tahir Ashrafi.

During the visit, Mr Sharif will have meetings with the Saudi crown prince and other officials, with focus on advancing economic, trade and investment ties, and creation of greater opportunities for the Pakistani workforce in Saudi Arabia.

The two sides will also exchange views on a range of regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The PM also paid his respects at Roza-i-Rasool (PBUH) and is expected to perform Umrah.

The prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia will impart a strong impetus to deepening bilateral cooperation in diverse fields and further reinforce the growing partnership between the two countries.

Delegates accosted

Unfortunate scenes were also witnessed on Thursday when the official delegation was accosted by pilgrims from Pakistan, among others, who jeered and taunted members of the prime minister’s entourage during their visit to Masjid-i-Nabwi.

In a statement, Marriyum Aurangzeb said this act was perpetrated by a select group, while most Pakistanis respected the sanctity of the holy mosque. She also said she had prayed for guidance for such people.

The events were also condemned by Pakistan Ulema Council chairman Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, who said Muslims were meant to bow their heads and lower their voices in Masjid-i-Nabwi instead of raising dirty slogans and hurling allegations on 27th of Ramazan.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2022

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