RIYADH – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif left for home on Tuesday after a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the American-Arab Islamic Summit in Riyadh.
The premier had arrived in Riyadh on Sunday to attend the summit on the invitation of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz. His delegation comprised several government officials and media persons, including foreign affairs’ adviser Sartaj Aziz and lawyer Akram Sheikh.
The summit was attended by around three dozen leaders of Islamic countries, including the prime ministers of Bangladesh and Malaysia, and presidents of Afghanistan, Egypt, as well as US President Trump.
Mr Trump had a brief encounter with Mr Sharif on Sunday ahead of the summit at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center. The US president shook hands with the Pakistani leader and exchange of pleasantries took place between the two leaders.
However, Sharif’s tour has been termed ‘ineffective’ by opposition and senior journalists, including those who were in the PM’s delegation.
He also earned ire of Pakistani nation after he was not “allowed to address the summit” due to, what opposition and analysts say, “failed foreign policy of PML-N government”.
Lashing out at the PM for remaining silent when Trump spoke of isolating Iran, PTI chief Imran Khan said, “Pakistanis are ashamed at the way Sharif was treated in Saudi Arabia
“Nawaz Sharif lost a big opportunity and the Pakistani people are extremely disappointed. If he didn’t take a stand on what the Pakistani nation wants, then why he even bothered going there,” the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman said while talking to the reporters on Monday.
Meanwhile, PM Sharif called for an accord to eliminate the menace of terrorism affecting world peace.
During his stay in Medina, the prime minister also paid respect at Masjid-e-Nabvi. He prayed for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan and the entire Muslim Ummah, a statement said.