ISLAMABAD – Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have congratulated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on his party’s recent electoral victory, the Saudi Press Agency said on Sunday.
Khan’s political party outperformed its rivals in the July 25 general elections. After the Election Commission of Pakistan distributed the reserved seats for women and minorities among parties on the basis of their respective electoral performances on Saturday, the PTI got 158 seats and were only 14 seats short of a simple majority in the National Assembly of Pakistan.
Khan is widely believed to become the next prime minister of the country and hopes to take the oath to the highest political office in Pakistan on Aug. 18.
The Saudi ambassador in Islamabad was the first envoy to call on Imran Khan after last month’s general elections. Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki praised the PTI chief’s victory speech in which he had offered to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Malki also said the Saudi Crown Prince intended to visit Pakistan soon in a bid to strengthen bilateral relations.
In a post-election televised speech, Imran Khan made a point of discussing his country’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and Iran.
“We want to improve ties with Iran. Saudi Arabia is a friend who has always stood by us in difficult times. Our aim will be that whatever we can do for conciliation in the Middle East, we want to play that role. Those tensions, that fight, between neighbours, we will try to bring them together,” Khan said.
The prime minister noted in separate remarks that “if any country needs peace right now, then it is Pakistan…(Saudi Arabia) has stood by us in our toughest times. We would like to be a reconciliatory state and help them resolve their inner tensions.”
Also this week, in a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Khan accepted an invitation to visit Tehran.