PM thanks Saudi leadership for `Road to Makkah’ initiative to facilitate Pakistani pilgrims

China, Pakistan good friends and partners: PM Shehbaz Sharif


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Thursday thanking the Saudi leadership for ‘Road to Makkah’ project, expressed his satisfaction that thousands of Pakistani pilgrims would be facilitated under this initiative.

The Prime Minister was talking to ‘Road to Makkah’ project team, which led by Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Ahmad Al-Malkiy called on him here.

Mansour Shahad S. Alotaibi from the Saudi Department of the General Directorate of Passports was also present in the meeting.

Welcoming the Saudi delegation, the Prime Minister reaffirmed that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy historic fraternal relations, which are marked by common understanding on all issues of mutual interest at regional and international level.

He shared that the people and leadership of Pakistan hold the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in high esteem, and conveyed warm greetings to King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

While recalling consistent support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, the Prime Minister stated that the two countries have stood with each other through the vicissitudes of time.

He assured full cooperation and support to the Saudi team for making the `Road to Makkah’ initiative a great success. He also expressed the hope that the initiative would be extended to other cities of Pakistan in future.

Thanking the Prime Minister for his government’s assistance to the Saudi team for the effective implementation of the initiative, the Saudi Ambassador expressed the desire to further strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries, especially in the realms of trade, development and investment.

The ‘Road to Makkah’ is a Saudi initiative aimed at the completion of Saudi immigration and customs-related formalities before the departure of the pilgrims to perform Hajj, at the Islamabad International Airport. The Saudi team is in Pakistan for the facilitation of such pilgrims, prior to their departure to the Kingdom. Meanwhile, to another commitment, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that China and Pakistan are good friends and partners and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a manifestation of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation between the two countries.

During his first such interview with Chinese media since he took office as prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a manifestation of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation between Pakistan and China,

He said that the Pakistani government attaches great importance to the project and hopes to benefit further the people of the two countries and the region.

The project is also facing some problems, Pakistan is willing to use the “Pakistan speed” to eliminate bottlenecks and strengthen cooperation.

The prime minister said the CPEC meets the pressing requirements of Pakistan and has brought benefits to the Pakistani people.

Next year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative and the 10th year of the construction of the CPEC. Shehbaz Sharif said it’s time to move the CPEC into the next phase. Adding to this, Former Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Abbasi and Senator Javed Abbasi called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Thursday.

During the meeting, they discussed construction and development of Galiyat area.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said federal government will continue to play its role in providing health, education, social development and other public welfare projects in Galiyat.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister Mian Javed Latif also called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Thursday. They discussed overall and political situation of the country. Mian Javed Latif lauded the government for presenting a balanced budget despite difficult time. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed the confidence that Pakistan will get out of economic difficulties.

In his tweets on Thursday, the Prime Minister said he is acutely aware of the impact that a fuel price hike causes. He said the government is left with no choice but to raise the prices due to the IMF deal that the PTI government signed. He said the nation will soon be taken into confidence on the specifics of the IMF-PTI deal.

The Prime Minister wondered whether those who struck the worst ever deal with the IMF and took patently bad economic decisions have the conscience to face the truth. He said how can they pretend to be innocent when what the nation is going through is clearly their doing?


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