ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has gone for a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia at the request of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Newly appointed Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Shahzain Bugti, Mohsin Dawar, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi, Chaudhry Salik, and four members of PM Shehbaz Sharif’s personal staff are among the delegation accompanying the premier.
PM Shehbaz Sharif used to Twitter to say that his visit will “renew and reinforce” ties between the two nations. He stated that he will meet with the Saudi leadership to address a wide range of issues.
“I’m flying to Saudi Arabia today to rekindle and reaffirm our links of brotherhood and friendship. With Saudi leadership, I will have in-depth conversations. KSA is one of our closest allies and holds a particular place in our hearts as the Custodian of the Two Holy Places “Shehbaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, stated.
Today I am embarking on a visit to Saudi Arabia to renew & reaffirm our bonds of brotherhood & friendship. I will have wide-ranging discussions with Saudi leadership. KSA is one of our greatest friends & as Custodian of the Two Holy Places, has a special place in all our hearts.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) April 28, 2022
Pakistan to ask for additional $3.2b from Saudi Arabia
In order to avoid further depletion of foreign currency reserves, Pakistan has chosen to request an extra $3.2 billion package from Saudi Arabia during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s current visit, bringing the total facility to $7.4 billion from the present $4.2 billion.
In an interview with The News on Wednesday, top government sources confirmed:
“During Premier Shehbaz Sharif’s visit, we will suggest that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia boost the deposit from $3 billion to $5 billion and double the Saudi Oil Facility (SOF) from $1.2 billion to $2.4 billion, bringing the whole package up to $7.4 billion.”
When asked about the planned package from Saudi Arabia, one of the senior officials in the Finance Division responded, “We are demanding a deferred payment facility and boosting the credit granted for FX support.”
However, in his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and other key dignitaries, the top official displayed reluctance to provide further information regarding the specific facts to be asked by PM Shehbaz Sharif before the KSA authorities