ISLAMABAD – Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced on Thursday that Saudi Arabia would become the third strategic partner in the multi-billion dollars China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the minister revealed the discussions that took place between premier Imran Khan and Saudi royals in a two-day visit, confirming that the petro-state would invest in the CPEC as an economic partner.
The minister highlighted that with the latest visit, there would be a new shift in the strategic ties between the Muslim states, a consultative committee for which has been devised.
‘Saudi Arabia and Pakistan would stand by each other on each and every occasion,’ said the minister.
He also announced that high-level delegations from Saudi Arabia and UAE including the Saudi finance minister will visit Pakistan to discuss trade and security in next month.
‘All the agreements with Saudi Arabia would be made public,’ asserted the minister.
The lawmaker said that while in Abu Dhabi, the Pakistani delegation met with Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zaid and matters of mutual interest were discussed.
He mentioned that the relations between Pakistan and UAE and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were going through a cold phase for the past few years, however, hastened to add that the visit changed that.
He added that the complications surrounding the procurement of UAE visas will soon be resolved as the matter was also discussed.
“The foreign office will soon send a proposal to UAE and it is expected to resolve these issues for the thousands of Pakistanis that are dwelling in the Emirates,” Chaudhry confirmed.
Nawaz Sharif’s Release
On queries related to the release of former premier Nawaz Sharif from the Adialal Jail on the directives of the Islamabad High Court, the minister expressed that the PML-N leader would keep on relocating to and fro between his home and Adiala jail.
‘There would be no deal or relaxation with Nawaz Sharf and the former premier would be shifted back to the same place [Adiala jail],’ vowed the minister.
Fawad Chaudhry explained that those who understand the personality of Imran Khan are aware of the fact that he would not strike any deal.
‘We will not allow any offshore visit of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz and would not let Hassan and Hussain, live outside Pakistan,’ affirmed the politician.
He elaborated that the Pakistani courts were fully independent and there was no personal enmity between Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
‘Saudi Arabia has not asked for Nawaz Sharif’s release as he is not worthy enough,’ said the minister and wondered how could the Crown prince Mohamed bin Salman ask for the release of Nawaz Sharif.
Fawad Chaudhry also defended the inclusion of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz in the Exit Control List (ECL).
The politician claimed that no country asked for the release of former premier Nawaz Sharif adding that the National Accountability Bureau was a sovereign institute, not under the control of the sitting regime.
‘We are a custodian of the public money and they [Sharifs] have looted us, the core concern is the recovery of money,’ added the minister.
Ties with India
Fawad Chaudhry highlighted that Pakistan wants better relations with neighbour India.
‘Neighbours cannot be replaced,’ said the minister and welcomed the response of India over the offer of resumption of dialogue.