Saudi Crown Prince Signs $20B in Investment Deals in Pakistan


Expressing confidence in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government, Prince Mohammad said that the first phase of $20 billion Saudi investment in Pakistan has been completed today.

The minister said a dinner will be hosted at the Prime Minister House which will be addressed by both Imran Khan and Mohammad bin Salman. "We believe Pakistan is going to be very very important country in the future and we want to be sure we are part of that".

The Pakistani premier reiterated that his country will not allow anyone to attack Saudi Arabia.

The US tech giant's cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services, had been in talks over opening data centres in the Gulf kingdom, with crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally courting Mr Bezos on a US trip past year.

The crown prince was due to reach Pakistan on Saturday, but his arrival was delayed for a day.

There was relief among Pakistan officials when the Foreign Office announced on Friday night that the de-facto ruler of the Gulf kingdom will arrive on Sunday.

Al-Falih had said that Saudi Arabia would also invest in other sectors.

"What is happening in this relationship is a renewal of Pakistan's commitment to help protect the royal family and the order as it exists in Saudi Arabia", said Mosharraf Zaidi, senior fellow at Tabadlab, a Pakistani think tank focused on global and local public policy.

But Prince Mohammed's visit is at risk of being overshadowed by Pakistan's growing tensions with India.

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Mr Khashoggi worked for The Washington Post, which is owned by Mr Bezos, and Crown Prince Mohammed is said to be furious at the continued coverage of the issue in Mr Bezos' title. Saudi ministers will hold bilateral talks with their Pakistani counterparts in their respective fields.

Pakistani riders drive past portraits of Pakistani and Saudi leaders displayed in Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 15, 2019.

The prince will also use about 130 royal guards.

The CIA concluded the Saudi operation was probably directed by bin Salman, but the White House wiggled its way around the findings amid strenuous denials by the Saudis, a key USA ally. His personal belongings such as furniture and gym equipment have already been flown in and transported to PM House where he will stay.

Investments, defence and security, including counter-terrorism and renewable energy, are the key issues which are likely to come up for discussions during Prince Salman's visit to India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said last week.

Major roads in Islamabad were blocked off for Prince Mohammed's arrival with more than 1,000 police checkpoints set up.

According to Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, the government has finalized arrangements to warmly welcome the crown prince and that Prime Minister Imran Khan will personally receive him at the airport.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has made a decision to confer Mohammad will Nishan-e-Pakistan - the highest civilian award.