PM Abbasi leaves for Saudi Arabia amid Trump criticism

  • This is maiden foreign visit of the prime minister after being elected
  • Trump accuses Pakistan of allegedly providing safe havens to terror groups

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday left for Saudi Arabia on a day-long visit, a day after US President Donald Trump accuses Pakistan of allegedly providing shelter to terrorists.

According to local media, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif are accompanying the prime minister, who is on his first foreign visit after holding the office following disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

During his stay, PM Abbasi will call on Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, besides holding meetings with other officials of the Kingdom.

He will also pay a visit to the Roze-e-Rasool (PBUH) in Medina.

Geo News reported that premier would hold discussion with Saudi Arabia, a close ally, regarding US President Donald Trump’s new policy on South Asia.

It is notable that Trump had started his overseas visit since holding office from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he had attended Arab-Islamic-American Summit.

He reached the Kingdom on May 20 and the same day an the Saudi Arabia signed historic deal involving $110 billion to purchase arms from the US.

Trump Policy

US President Donald Trump, on Monday unleashed his policy of ramping up pressure on Pakistan, a close ally of US, in a bid to fully implement the revamped Afghan war strategy.

Accusing Islamabad of harbouring “agents of chaos, violence, and terror” the tycoon-turned-president clarified to increase pressure on the country to stop any re-emergence of safe havens in order to gain regional peace, besides announcing increase of US troops in Afghanistan.

President Trump stated this in his first formal address to the nation as commander-in-chief while announcing a new strategy regarding Pakistan’s neighbouring country, Afghanistan, where America landed with its troops after 9/11 attacks nearly 16 years ago, Monday night aiming at achieving a “lasting peace”.

He said, “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” adding, “Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan.”