KARACHI: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan has been postponed, the Foreign Office (FO) said on Saturday.

FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch confirmed the development to Dawn.com, adding that the new date of his visit would be announced soon.

The news came shortly before Special Representative to Prime Minister on Interfaith Harmony Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi told a presser in Lahore that the crown prince is coming on a visit to Pakistan.

He said that in accordance with the instructions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the nation and scholars representing all schools of thought would welcome the crown prince, reports APP. All agreements between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would be concluded, he added.

No reason was given by the FO about the postponement of the visit.

However, according to a Reuters report, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia is expected to fly to the Indonesian island of Bali to attend the Nov 15-16 G20 summit.

Heads of government from the Group of 20 major economies, including US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, will meet in Bali for the two-day event.

Last month, PM Sharif said the crown prince would soon be visiting Pakistan and that he had expressed willingness to support development projects in the country, including an announcement for a $10 billion investment for establishing an oil refinery.

The premier’s remarks had come days after he concluded a three-day trip to Saudi Arabia during which the two leaders resolved to upgrade bilateral ties.

“He (crown prince) was ready to do anything for [the betterment of] people of Pakistan,” the PM had said.

The crown prince last visited Pakistan in February 2019 during the term of former prime minister Imran Khan.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2022

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