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PM vows support to Riyadh after attacks on oil facilities

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday met Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and expressed Pakistan’s resolve to stand with Saudi Arabia “in the event of a threat to its sanctity and security”, a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

During the meeting, the premier condemned the sabotage attack on Aramco plants in Biqayq and Khurais, stressing Pakistan’s support for the Kingdom in the face of these blatant attacks.

According to the PMO statement, Prime Minister Imran also briefed King Salman on the current situation in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK). The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also expressed appreciation of Pakistan’s position, stressing that the Kingdom is capable of dealing with the effects of this criminal act which aimed at destabilising the security and stability of the region and global energy supplies.

According to the PMO statement, “King Salman reiterated the Kingdom’s solidarity and long-held support on the Kashmir issue.” The two leaders discussed relations between the two countries as well as the regional and global political situation. They also talked about other matters of mutual interest including trade, investment and economic relations.

Earlier in the day, the premier met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and apprised him of the latest developments in IHK.

According to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf official Twitter account, the premier “highlighted the tyranny of the Indian government” in IHK following New Delhi’s decision to strip the region of its autonomy on August 5. The occupied territory has since been under a strict government-imposed lockdown and communications blackout.

During his meeting with the Saudi prince, the prime minister also condemned the recent attacks in Saudi Arabia on Aramco’s oil facilities.

The two leaders discussed ways to strengthen economic ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the PMO statement added.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfikar Bukhari, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood, and Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz.

The prime minister is in Jeddah for a two-day official visit to Saudi Arabia, ahead of his trip to New York for the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He was received by Makkah Governor Khalid Al-Faisal at the Jeddah Royal Terminal.

Prime Minister Imran has been in “regular contact” with the Saudi crown prince over the issue. The prime minister has, as part of his efforts to draw the world’s attention towards the situation in the Kashmir Valley, called the crown prince earlier this month to brief him over the situation in the region.

Later in the evening, the prime minister met a group of Pakistanis from various walks of life.

“My aim was to brief the Saudi leadership on the Occupied Kashmir situation, ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session,” he told the group of his visit to the Kingdom. “We must highlight this issue all over the world,” he said. Kashmir had become an international issue and the whole world had accepted Pakistan’s narrative, a statement issued by the PM Office quoted him as saying.

The prime minister said that Quaid-u-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had “already foreseen that Muslims will not get their due rights while living in India, which Modi’s actions have proven”.

He said that relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have “reached new heights” and that the Kingdom had “helped Pakistan in all times of difficulty”.

He assured the delegation that the government was bringing improvements across all sectors of Pakistan’s economy, despite all the hurdles it is faced with owing to the poor state it had been handed over in.

“Bringing in investments is our top priority for which we are instituting legislative reforms so that the investments made by overseas Pakistanis remain secure,” he said.

The prime minister said that various efforts were also being made for ease of doing business so that the people could find incentive to invest in the country.