LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and Saudi Arabian Ambassador in Pakistan Abdul Aziz Al-Ghadeer discussed matters of mutual interest and bilateral relations here on Sunday.

During the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif termed Saudi Arabia a great friend that always stood by Pakistan in every hour of need, and the people of two countries had deep affiliation with each other.

Pakistan attached high importance to its relations with Saudi Arabia and these historical fraternal attachment was turning into useful economic ties, which were strengthening with the passage of time, he added.

Pakistan government led by Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was making sincere efforts to cope with the challenges being faced by the country, he said, adding, that the energy crisis and extremism would be rooted out to put Pakistan on the road to progress and prosperity.

The Chief Minister said that the Saudi Arabian government, Khadim-e-Harmain Sharifain Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and people of Saudi Arabia had helped Pakistan in every moment of trial. The recent visit of Saudi Crown Prince to Pakistan had further strengthened brotherly relations between the two countries, he said.

He said that Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif wanted to further strengthen relationship with Saudi Arabia. Referring to the problems being faced by Pakistan, he said, the country was faced with energy crisis and extremism, however, the Prime Minister was determined to overcome these issues and making sincere efforts in this regard.

Shahbaz Sharif said the Khidmat Card Programme in Punjab and Youth Loan Scheme at Federal level and other projects would bring about economic and social stability in Pakistan. These programmes, he observed, was aimed at diverting national resources to common man.

Saudi Arabian Ambassador Abdul Aziz Al-Ghadeer said that Saudi Arabia considered its relations with Pakistan as highly important and their friendship had stood the test of time. He said that public welfare programmes being implemented under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would help achieve the objectives of progress and prosperity of the country.

Similarly, he said, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had added new chapters of progress and development to the history of the province. He assured that Saudi Arabia would continue to support Pakistan in future as well.

PAGARA MEETS SHAHBAZ: Staff Reporter adds: PML-F leader Pir Sadruddin Rashdi called on Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif here on Sunday.

The two leaders discussed political situation, according to an official handout which did not provide any details.

Pir Pagaro also had a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah a week back which annoyed his party’s General Secretary Imtiaz Sheikh who resigned in protest.