A Day After Riyadh Condemns Pulwama Terror Attack, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Delays His Visit To Pakistan

Pakistan News

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's arrival in Pakistan on his first official visit the country has been delayed by a day.

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Updated On:

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's arrival in Pakistan on his first official visit the country has been delayed by a day, for reasons that are "unknown".

The foreign ministry in the statement did not cite the reason behind change in schedule. 

MBS was scheduled to reach Islamabad on Saturday where Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was supposed to receive him personally at Nur Khan Airbase along with his Cabinet Ministers, but due to "unknown reasons", he will now arrive a day late on Sunday, as stated by the Foreign Office. 

However, the programmes of his stay in Pakistan will remain unchanged, it said.

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Crown prince MBS, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and the Defence Minister of the Kingdom will be will be conferred with Nishan-e-Pakistan the highest civilian award during his visit to the country, the Express Tribune reported.

Abdul Razzak Dawood, Advisor to prime minister on trade, said investment deals worth USD 10-15 billion dollars would be signed during the trip. On the top of the list is an agreement to set up an oil refinery in Pakistan.

Pakistan expects a $7 billion Saudi investment over the next two years after Prince Mohammad's visit.

The prince will also travel to India amid heightened tension between Islamabad and New Delhi over this week's attack on a paramilitary convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 44 jawaans. PM Narendra Modi blamed Pakistan for Thursday's bombing, while Pakistan rejected the allegation. 

The delay in the visit comes after the Pulwama attack perpetrated by Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammad terror outfit, which was censured by Riyadh.

An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s strong condemnation and denunciation over the explosion that targeted a military convoy in the Indian part of Kashmir, claiming dozens of deaths and injuries.

The source stressed the Kingdom’s rejection of these cowardly terrorist acts and its stand with the friendly Republic of India against terrorism and extremism, offering condolences to the families of the victims, Indian government and people and wishing the injuries a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements in Pakistan have been planned during the visit of the powerful heir to the Saudi throne, who currently is under the scanner for the murder of Washington Post columnist journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Last year, Pakistan voiced its support for the Crown Prince when he faced international outrage following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents. The kingdom quickly signed an agreement for a $6 billion assistance package after Khan attended an investment conference in October that saw a wave of cancellations linked to the Khashoggi killing.

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