ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa on Monday spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman by telephone.

“His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, has received a phone call from Chief of the Pakistani Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa,” the Saudi foreign ministry said.

“During the call, the Chief of the Pakistani Army was reassured about the health of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,” according to the Saudi statement.

King Salman, 86, was on May 8 admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah for undergoing medical tests.

MbS thanked Gen Bajwa for his “sincere feelings”.

The telephone conversation took place against the backdrop of Pakistan’s aggravating economic crisis. Islamabad wants Riyadh to double its $4 billion assistance package, which includes the oil facility.

The Saudi assistance, if materialises, could provide a lifeline to the struggling government, whose future increasingly looks uncertain because of economic crisis.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who visited Saudi Arabia last month, had asked the Saudi leadership to double the oil financing facility and additional deposits for dealing with economic challenges, including high inflation, sliding foreign exchange reserves, a widening current account deficit and a depreciating currency.

The statement did not say if the two discussed Pakistan’s expectation about financial assistance. It only said that during the call, the two leaders reviewed cooperation in the military field between the two countries.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

An inexplicable delay
03 Oct, 2022

An inexplicable delay

AFTER a flurry of activity a couple of months ago, geared towards filling the vacancies in the apex court — an...
Dire situation
Updated 03 Oct, 2022

Dire situation

If there is any time for the civilian leadership to show unity, it is now.
Russian annexation
03 Oct, 2022

Russian annexation

AS Russia and the West play a zero-sum game in Ukraine, Moscow’s official annexation of four Ukrainian regions it...
Spy games
Updated 02 Oct, 2022

Spy games

The audios leaked so far appear to have been carefully curated: they apply pressure but do not do major damage.
‘Geopolitical football’
02 Oct, 2022

‘Geopolitical football’

THE US-China rivalry is by all measures one of the globe’s most dangerous competitions for power and influence. ...
Fuel price reduction
02 Oct, 2022

Fuel price reduction

ISHAQ Dar is back; so are his signature policies. The reduction of a little over 5pc in fuel prices announced by him...