Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday.
During the meeting, views were exchanged on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues including the Kashmir dispute.
The prime minister in his remarks underscored the significance of the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relationship. He recalled the “historic visit” of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to Pakistan last year as well as Riyadh’s support for Pakistan particularly at the time of economic challenges, according to a series of tweets by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The premier appreciated the “growing economic ties” between the two countries and the Saudi commitment for investments in diverse sectors of the local economy.
While highlighting the worsening human rights situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir, he said the Indian leadership’s “belligerent rhetoric and aggressive actions on the ground” posed a threat to peace and security, according to the tweets.
He stressed the importance of the international community, including the Muslim world, playing its role in preventing the ongoing atrocities in occupied Kashmir and promoting a peaceful solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
“In this regard, Saudi Arabia’s role as an important OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) member was also discussed,” the statement said.
Discussing India’s “discriminatory” Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), Prime Minister Imran remarked that the Indian government was engaged in “systematic efforts to discriminate against, marginalise and disenfranchise minorities, especially Muslims”.
He said the recent “targeted killings” of Muslims in New Delhi and the desecration of their places of worship were a matter of grave concern not only for the Muslim world but also the international community.
The premier highlighted that the “RSS-inspired BJP government’s ‘Hindutva’ ideology” was squeezing the residents of occupied Kashmir on one hand and India’s minorities on the other, which he said needed to be prevented by the international community.
According to the PM Office, the Saudi deputy defence minister during the meeting conveyed the Saudi leadership’s “deep appreciation” for the role being played by Pakistan for regional peace and stability including in the Middle East.
While underscoring the importance of the Pakistan-Saudi “strategic relationship”, Prince Khalid reaffirmed Riyadh’s commitment to further deepening of fraternal ties and multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.
“He reaffirmed that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, as long-standing partners, would always stand by each other,” the PM Office said.
Meeting with army chief
Prince Khalid also called on Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters during his visit to the country, an Inter-Services Public Relations press release said.
During the meeting, views were exchanged on issues of mutual interest including defence and security cooperation, measures to further enhance bilateral defence collaboration including the Training Exchange Programme, and the overall regional security situation including the situation in occupied Kashmir.
The Saudi minister thanked the Pakistan Army for the assistance provided, especially towards the training of Royal Saudi Armed Forces both in Pakistan as well as in Saudi Arabia through bilateral training cooperation.
The army chief thanked Prince Khalid for acknowledging Pakistan Army’s achievements in the war against terrorism and its contribution for regional peace and stability, the ISPR said.
Prince Khalid was accompanied by a high-level delegation including Saudi Chief of General Staff Gen Fayiadh bin Hamed bin Raged Al-Rowaily, and Military Adviser to Saudi Defence Minister Maj Gen Talal Abdullah Alotaibi.
Earlier, upon arrival at GHQ, the Saudi official was presented a guard of honour.