Pak PM to visit Saudi Arabia amidst Indo-Pak tensions

Pak PM to visit Saudi Arabia amidst Indo-Pak tensions

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. (AFP Photo)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Saudi Arabia later this month, his third trip to the Kingdom, a media report said on Thursday, amidst the Indo-Pak tensions over Kashmir.

According to Geo News, Khan will travel to Saudi Arabia before his trip to the US to address the UN General Assembly for the first time on September 27. Khan has said that he would highlight the Kashmir issue in his speech after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status last month.

During his visit, the prime minister is expected to meet important Saudi leaders, the report said.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir met with Pakistan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz in Riyadh to discuss Imran's likely visit, The News reported.

The Saudi minister, along with the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan visited Islamabad on September 4 and discussed the Kashmir issue with Prime Minister Khan and other Pakistani leaders.

The visit by the two ministers came after Prime Minister Khan telephoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Crown Prince of the UAE Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed and discussed the Kashmir issue with them.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal on Thursday dismissed media reports that claimed that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia's foreign ministers, on their recent trip to Pakistan, had told the government that Kashmir was "not a Muslim ummah related issue."

Faisal insisted that both officials had "expressed solidarity with Pakistan and support for the Kashmir cause," the Dawn newspaper quoted him as saying.

Asserting that the abrogation of Article 370 was its "internal matter", India has defended the imposition of restrictions in Kashmir on the grounds that they were put to prevent Pakistan from creating more mischief through proxies and terrorists.

During his last visit to Saudi Arabia in June, Khan represented Pakistan at the 14th Summit of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Makkah.

He also visited Saudi Arabia on September 2018 for the first time after becoming Prime Minister the previous month.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan share strong bilateral ties and Riyadh has provided crucial aid to Islamabad to overcome the current financial crisis. 

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