ISLAMABAD    -   Saudi Minister of Media Turki Bin Abdullah Al Shabanah and Military Adviser to KSA Defence Minister Major General Talal Abdullah Alotaibi called on Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ on Wednesday.

Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed al Maliky was also present in the meeting, during which regional security situation and matters of mutual interest were discussed.

The COAS said that both countries have history of defence cooperation which Pakistan greatly values. Pakistan Army stands with Saudi Armed Forces in all fields, he added.

The army chief also expressed condolences on the death of His Highness Prince Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.

The Minister of Media of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turki Bin Abdullah Al Shabanah also held meetings with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser.  

Meeting with Qureshi

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in the fields of information and culture.

The understanding came at a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Saudi Minister for Media Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabana.

Speaking on the occasion, the foreign minister said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long maintained historical and cultural relations, and Pakistan gives high value to its ties with KSA. He said the two countries have unanimity of views on important regional and global issues.

Qureshi said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan has further strengthened relationship between the two countries.

He said establishment of Pak-Saudi Supreme Coordination Council is an important step toward promotion of political, economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries. The minister thanked Saudi Arabia for increasing Hajj quota for Pakistan up to two hundred thousand.

 Meeting with SAPM

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Wednesday stressed the need to evolve a joint communication strategy with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to promote and project true image of Islam across the globe.

In a meeting with Saudi Minister for Media Turki Abdullah M Al Shabanah here, she said collaboration in fields of media, film and culture was not only vital to strengthen bonds between the people of both countries but would also help in building the images of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan at international level.

The special assistant proposed exchange of dramas after dubbing in each other’s languages as movies and dramas were one of the greatest mediums to portray the cultural traits and core values of any society.

It was imperative to introduce and promote common heroes and great stories among the youth of both countries, she added.

Dr Firdous said Prime Minister Imran Khan was very keen to promote tourism, and cooperation in the realm of film which would prove instrumental in promoting the scenic beauty of Pakistan, particularly of its Northern Areas.

She also emphasized the need to strengthen cooperation between the radios of both countries as it was an important medium for bonding of the people.

She said exchange of visits of journalists from both countries would also help in learning from each other’s experiences and best practices, besides projecting the common cause of Muslim Ummah.

Dr Firdous said the people of Pakistan had great affection for the people and leadership of Saudi Arabia and the visit of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz to Pakistan had further reinforced the existing historical cultural ties between the two countries.

Turki al Shabanah said as media minister, it was his first official visit to any country abroad, and Pakistan became his first choice in that regard.

He appreciated the ideas of special assistant in strengthening cooperation in diverse fields, including culture, film and drama with the view to develop a strategy in future to project the vision of Saudi leadership and building the images of both countries.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Al Malkiy, Special Military Advisor to Crown Prince Major General M Talal Abdulah T Al Otaibi, Information Secretary Zahida Parveen and other senior officials from both sides.

 NA Speaker

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy close fraternal relations bound in religious, historic and cultural ties. He pointed out that the two countries stood by each other in testing times and close and frequent contacts at the highest level have been the hallmark of these relations.

He was speaking during a meeting with Saudi Minister for Media Mr Turki Abdullah, who called on him along with a four member delegation in Parliament House on Wednesday. Members from the Treasury and Opposition were also present on the occasion.

Taking to the Saudi Minister, Asad Qaiser expressed his gratitude to Custodian of the two Holy Mosques for his personal commitment and interest in promoting fraternal relations between the two nations and the welfare of the Pakistani community in the Kingdom.

He said that the government and people of Pakistan would always stand in forefront to defend any aggression intended to the Holy land. He appreciated the facilitation of Hujjaj at Pakistani Airports through Road to Makkah initiative. He also expressed his satisfaction on the economic cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Referring to the visit of Saudi Crown Prince to Pakistan, the Speaker NA said that his visit had reinvigorated ties between both the countries. He expressed special gratitude to the Saudi Government for the royal decree for release of Pakistani prisoners in Saudi jails.

Reciprocating to the remarks of Speaker National Assembly, Turki Abdullah said that Saudi Arabia attaches immense importance to its relations with Pakistan and wants to further diversify them through enhancing cooperation in diverse sectors.

He said that His Excellency the King and the Crown Prince had always accorded immense importance to Pakistan and inspired an economically stable Pakistan. He said that Saudi Arabia would always stand by its Pakistani brethren whenever needed.

MNAs present during the meeting expressed their gratitude to the Saudi government for its support to Pakistan. Syed Naveed Qamar said that Saudi-Pakistan relations had been always exceptional and cooperation needed to be enhanced for gearing up the socio-economic development in the country. Khurrum Dastagir Khan said that Pakistan-Saudi brotherly relations had always been incomparable and suggested for forging unity for addressing issues confronting Muslim Ummah.

Ehsan Ullah Tiwana, Dr Haider Ali and Ayub Afridi praised the measured adopted for welfare of Pakistani expatriate working in Saudi Arabia and economic cooperation between both the two countries.