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Saudi crown prince to stay at PM House during Pakistan visit

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by ghazi52, Feb 12, 2019 at 12:26 AM.

  1. ghazi52

    ghazi52 ELITE MEMBER

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    Saudi crown prince to stay at PM House during Pakistan visit

    February 11, 2019


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    Two main Islamabad hotels and Punjab House to host over 1,000 guests accompanying Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

    ISLAMABAD: In an unprecedented move, the Pakistan government has decided to reserve the Prime Minister House for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s stay during his upcoming visit to the country later this month.

    The renovation work at the PM House is currently underway to prepare it for the royal stay.

    Prince Mohammad will be the first state guest to stay at the government building reserved for the prime minister of Pakistan.

    It may be mentioned that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had announced converting the PM House into a public university after coming into power last year. However, last month, it decided to task a federal commission to review the decision to convert the sprawling estate of the Prime Minister House into a national university. The move could see the plan of turning the PM House into a national university face some delays.

    The Saudi crown prince’s office will be made ready in ‘working condition’ two days before his arrival, scheduled for February 17, in the federal capital, said the sources, adding that important refurbishments were being carried out in this connection at the PM House.

    Prime Minister Imran Khan will personally receive the Saudi prince upon his arrival at the airport.

    According to sources, the Saudi crown prince’s delegation will comprise over 1,000 officials and businessmen, adding that the two main hotels and the Punjab House in Islamabad have been reserved for their stay.

    Ahead of the much-awaited visit, a delegation of Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), headed by former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif, on Sunday arrived in Pakistan on it’s first-ever visit to the country.

    Foolproof security arrangements, under the supervision of Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are being made for the visiting delegations.

    Pakistan is likely to sign a number of investment deals, including the construction of a multi-billion-dollar oil refinery in the port city of Gwadar during the upcoming visit. The Saudi crown prince will follow-up on agreements signed between the two countries during Prime Minister Imran’s visit to the KSA last year.

    Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki is playing a key role with regards to bringing Saudi investment in the country.

    Saudi Arabia agreed to provide $6 billion lifeline to Pakistan following the second visit of the prime minister, as the agreement could not be reached during his September visit to the kingdom.

    Prince Mohammad will participate in an international investment conference scheduled to be held at a five-star hotel in the capital.

    According to sources, a 40-member Saudi delegation, and over 100 Saudi and Pakistani business leaders will attend the international event. The forum will deliberate on energy, petro chemicals, housing, tourism in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, as well as sign MoUs in this regard.

    Negotiations will also be held to attract Saudi investment in Bahawalpur solar plants, and power plants in Haveli Bahadur Shah and Bhikki. Agreements on exploration of minerals in the poverty-stricken Balochistan are also expected to be signed.

    According to the sources, the Saudi crown prince will head to Malaysia, India and Beijing after completing his visit to the country.

    Insiders said that Pakistan has done groundwork to attract Saudi investors to the country, who will also be given various incentives this time.

    It is believed that 80 containers will be shipped to Islamabad for the crown prince and his entourage stay.

    Sources say everything used by the Saudi visitors will be brought from the Saudi kingdom to the country.

    The vehicles in his convoy will also be transported from Saudi Arabia.
     
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  2. OsmanAli98

    OsmanAli98 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will make his maiden visit to Pakistan this week to ink several trade and investment deals worth more than $10 billion, diplomatic officials and local media reported.

    The Saudi Foreign Ministry has not officially announced his schedule but Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Bin Saeed Al-Malki late last month told reporters bin Salman would arrive in Islamabad on Feb. 16 for a two-day visit.

    Private broadcaster Dawn News reported an unnamed Saudi Embassy official who said five trucks full of bin Salman’s personal amenities, including exercise equipment and furniture, reached Islamabad ahead of his visit.

    Much of the focus of the visit is to sign a deal to establish an oil refinery in the southwestern strategic port city of Gwadar, a key route of the multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

    The agreement is part of a $10-billion planned Saudi investment in Pakistan which follows a $6-billion package announced by Riyadh in October to aid cash-strapped Islamabad.

    According to Haroon Sharif, head of Pakistan's Board of Investment, Riyadh is interested in Pakistan’s oil refinery, petrochemicals, renewable energy and mining sectors.

    Last September, Pakistan formally invited Saudi Arabia to join the CPEC as a "third strategic partner," however, a reported disagreement with China about the inclusion of a third partner in the mega project could not materialize the offer.

    Nevertheless, Riyadh agreed to invest in CPEC-related projects. It has already announced financing of three CPEC projects in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

    The CPEC signed in 2014 seeks to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to the port of Gwadar through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

    According to experts, Saudi Arabia is mostly exporting oil through its western ports on the Red Sea. Gwadar port will give the Kingdom another option.

    They see the planned Saudi investment as a lifeline for Islamabad’s struggling economy compounded by a recent currency devaluation and declining foreign reserves.

    “This investment will help Pakistan in two ways,” Karachi-based economist Muzzammil Aslam told Anadolu Agency. “First, it will bolster the country’s declining foreign reserves, and secondly, it will bring Islamabad to a better position with respect to its talks with the IMF [International Monetary Fund].”

    Grappling with a colossal $18 billion current account deficit, Pakistan already sought the assistance of the IMF to deal with the exacerbating balance of payment issue.

    Annual remittances of $20 billion from overseas are the major source of the country’s foreign reserves, which currently stands at $16 billion.

    Aslam opined that the planned Saudi investment, which is “heavily capital intensive” would be unlikely to create a large number of jobs.

    “A major chunk of the proposed investment will be disbursed on the oil refinery, which will benefit Riyadh more. However, Islamabad will continue to earn toll taxes on oil to be exported to China and Africa through Gwadar,” he said.




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  3. OsmanAli98

    OsmanAli98 SENIOR MEMBER

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    ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Teams of security, media and doctors of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have reached Islamabad ahead of his two-day visit to Pakistan.

    Details suggest that the security teams visited several areas of the capital and reviewed the situation.

    Besides this five trucks full of Saudi Crown Prince’s personal amenities have also arrived in Islamabad that includes his exercise equipment, furniture and other personal belongings.

    Mohammed bin Salman will likely stay at the Prime Minister House, however; two of the top hotels in Islamabad have been booked fully for members of his staff while two others have been partially booked.

    The Prince will reach Islamabad on Febrauary 16 as a result of an invitation extended to him by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

    This will be Prince Mohammed s first-ever visit to Pakistan as the crown prince.
     
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  4. Abu Zarrar

    Abu Zarrar FULL MEMBER

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    300 Prados booked for Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan
    Preparations to welcome Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in his first-ever visit to Pakistan are in full swing and the government has already booked 300 super luxury Toyota Land Cruiser Prado vehicles for the royal visit starting from Sunday.

    Pakistan Air Force (PAF) aerobatics team Sherdil will enthrall the visiting dignitaries with a fly-past show using JF-17 Thunder jets, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.

    However, Prince Mohammad will use his personal vehicles, which will be transported from the kingdom along with his other belongings. It is believed that 80 containers will be shipped to Islamabad for the crown prince and his entourage’s stay.
    Sources said everything used by the Saudi visitors will be brought from the Saudi kingdom. Decision on number of vehicles to be brought from Saudi Arabia, will be taken at a high-level security meeting in the federal capital on Wednesday.
    The Saudi prince will be accompanied by 130 royal guards during the visit, they added.

    It may be mentioned that a 235-member delegation of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), led by Pakistan’s former army chief General Raheel Sharif, is already in the country to review security arrangements for the royal visit.

    The crown prince will be presented the guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent of the country’s armed forces upon his arrival the PM House, where he will stay throughout the trip. Prince Mohammad will then hold a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan at the “PM Camp Office”.

    The prime minister and President Arif Alvi will host the prince at luncheon and dinner respectively. A cultural performance will follow the dinner at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (Presidency).

    Meanwhile, several meetings to ensure foolproof security of the visiting dignitaries are being held in the capital. Saudi officials, who came along Gen (retd) Raheel on Sunday, have started taking necessary steps to ensure the crown prince’s safe and comfortable stay at the PM House.

    Sources further said that several food items were also being brought from the Saudi kingdom for Prince Mohammad.
    After decades of dependence on Saudi grants, Pakistan is poised to sign billions of dollars of investment deals with the kingdom during the visit scheduled to begin from February 17, including a multibillion dollar oil refinery in Gwadar.

    On Monday, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce and Investment Razak Dawood had said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will sign three memoranda of understanding for investment in oil, renewable energy and mineral sectors during the royal visit.

    “It is very likely that an agreement for $3 billion oil facility on deferred payments will also be signed during the visit,” said Dawood, who was very upbeat about keen interest being shown by Saudi investors in Pakistan.

    Pakistan will also ask Saudi Arabia to take part in the privatisation of over $2 billion worth of LNG-fired two power plants, although the kingdom had earlier showed interest in buying those units only under a government-to-government deal.

    Dawood did not put an exact investment figure by Saudi Arabia, as the precise size of the investment will be determined once a feasibility study of the oil refinery is ready. The adviser estimated minimum $10 billion to $12 billion Saudi investment in Pakistan in the medium term.