Historic display of warmth and protocol as Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman visits Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other high-ranking state officials welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman upon his arrival in Pakistan on a maiden visit to the country on Sunday (today), ARY News reported.
For his two-day visit, the crown prince is accompanied by a high-powered delegation, including members of Saudi Royal family, key ministers and leading businessmen.
As he disembarked from his aircraft, the Saudi crown prince was greeted by the prime minister and army chief, members of the federal cabinet, bureaucrats, officials of Saudi embassy officials and others.
PM Khan himself drove the Saudi crown prince to the Prime Minister House, where a 21-gun salute and a guard of honour was presented to the visiting royal.
The prime minister introduced the crown prince to the members of the federal cabinet, whereas the latter introduced the former to the members of his delegation.
Later, the two dignitaries held a one-on-one meeting, after which the foreign ministers of two countries signed on memorandums of understanding (MoUs).
Earlier, two special airplanes carrying a high-powered Saudi delegation of 19 members landed at Nur Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi this morning.
The Saudi foreign minister Adil al Jubeir arrived shortly before the arrival of the crown prince.
The delegation was escorted to Islamabad under heightened security alert.
A red-carpet welcome
A squadron of JF-17 Thunder jets escorted the visiting dignitary when the royal aircraft entered into Pakistan’s airspace.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF)’s Sherdil Squadron, comprising the cutting-edge JF-17 Thunder aircraft gave an airborne salute to the dignitaries after escorting them to Nur Khan Airbase.
— Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & HRD (@mophrd) February 17, 2019
Big portraits of Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi have been erected on Constitution Avenue in Islamabad.
Banners and posters inscribed with slogans of Pak-Saudi friendship and fraternity have also been put on display along the roads.
The Crown Prince will stay at the PM House during his two-day long visit. Prime Minister Khan will hold an important meeting with the prince today, which will be followed by a formal dinner at the PM House.
On Feb 18, the crown prince, along with his 100-member delegation, will call on President Arif Alvi, where the royal guest will be honored with a luncheon at the President House.
Other meetings with the military leadership and parliament members are also on the schedule of the Saudi royal.
The Saudi guests will depart for the airport from the President House on Feb 18.
“Historic deals” which would be inked during the Saudis’ visit have been given a final shape by the governments of both sides.
It has been reported that agreements of huge investment worth $20 billion on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government will be inked during the visit of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
Eight Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) are expected to be signed in diverse fields related to sports, youth, combating organized crime, including building a petrochemical complex in Gwadar.
Earlier, Pakistan Army’s Triple-One brigade, especially charged with securing important government installations in Islamabad and surroundings, took over the security at Nur Khan Airbase before arrival of the royal delegation.
The personal security team of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had arrived in Pakistan on Feb 11 to review security arrangements, as per sources.
“A team of doctors and a delegation of Saudi media persons who will cover Mohammed bin Salman’s tour have also reached Islamabad,” sources added.
On the other hand, Pakistani authorities have also taken exemplary security measures to ensure the protection of visiting dignitaries.
Senior security officers have been monitoring the security of Islamabad themselves. Besides, there is an enhanced coordination between officials of the police and other law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, the government of Punjab has imposed section-144 under the Criminal Procedure Code in twin cities for seven days from Feb 15 to 21.