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Mohammed bin Salman’s Pakistan visit on track despite political crisis

AlUla, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud attends the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, on Jan. 5, 2021.(Saudi Press Agency via Xinhua/IANS)

Islamabad: Despite political uncertainty, the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is on track as the Saudi de facto ruler is likely to travel to Islamabad in the third week of this month, local media reported.

Official sources said both sides were busy in preparing for the visit of MBS, who is now also the Saudi Prime Minister.

Although the Foreign Office is tight-lipped, the tentative date of the visit is November 21, The Express Tribune reported.

Earlier the visit was in doubt because of the long march of former prime minister Imran Khan. The PTI chairman has now called off the long march and would resume his protest once he fully recovers from his injuries.

Officials are hoping that the situation would remain under control and there would be no upheaval at the time of the visit, The Express Tribune reported.

The Shehbaz Sharif government, which is facing multiple economic challenges, is keen to ensure the visit takes place as the Saudi crown prince is expected to announce another financial bailout package for Pakistan.

Riyadh has already rolled over $3 billion dollar loan that Pakistan had to pay later this year.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia sought additional $4.2 billion financial bailout package. He told reporters on Friday that Saudi Arabia had given a positive response to his request.

China during the visit of Prime Minister Shebhaz Sharif also agreed to roll over $7.3 billion loan with a commitment to provide additional $1.5 billion assistance, The Express Tribune reported.

Along with Pakistan, Mohammed bin Salman is also expected to visit India. The Saudi Crown Prince is visiting the two countries en route to Bali in Indonesia to attend G20 Summit.

Source : Ummid.com