Islamabad   -  Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday denied that Pakistan had agreed to become part of any conflict in the Middle East in exchange for the financial assistance package from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Pakistan has received an unconditional package from Saudi Arabia. No conditions have been imposed”, the minister said while responding to concerns expressed by opposition senators on motions moved by Leader of Opposition Senator Raja Muhamad Zafarul Haq.

The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan enjoyed close brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia which would be further strengthened after the recent visits of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said that KSA agreed to place $3 billion in State Bank of Pakistan to help overcome Pakistan’s balance of payment crises. The Foreign Minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had offered to play a mediatory role to resolve the Yemen conflict and his initiative had been welcomed by all the parties concerned.

He recalled that former premier Nawaz Sharif too had tried to arbitrate in the Yemen dispute, but had remained unsuccessful.

He said that Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia had been frosty for a few years and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had been successful in rectifying the same.

“We have re-engaged Saudis and the vacuum has been broken”, he said, adding that PTI government had been able to reach the understanding that the previous two governments could not.

He informed the House that Iranian foreign minister had said that his country would welcome and ‘respond positively’ to Pakistan’s role in the Yemen dispute. He said that he was also seeing a ‘slight shift’ in Saudi Arabia’s position with regard to the war and progress could be made by continuous engagement.

Highlighting the significance of recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China, the Foreign Minister said that it was a very successful visit. He said that the nation was united on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative and the government would complete all ongoing projects under this corridor.

He said that delegates from 130 countries attended the Shanghai Expo and the Prime Minister was one of the 7 prominent world leaders who were invited for keynote addresses on this occasion.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan Pavilion was one of the 8 pavilions which were visited by the world leaders.

He said that 15 agreements and MoUs had been signed between the two countries regarding human development, education, health, skill development, poverty alleviation, agriculture and industrial development.

“We have agreed to upgrade strategic dialogue between China and Pakistan to the foreign ministers’ level”, Qureshi said while highlighting the successes of the visit.

China has also agreed to play its role in a trilateral engagement to advance the Afghan peace process, he said. A meeting in this regard will be held in Kabul in December to be attended by China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, he revealed.

He assured the Upper House that CPEC projects that had already been started would reach completion; however, the PTI government has ‘tried to give the project a new direction’.

The government’s focus in the second phase of the mega project has shifted from infrastructure to livelihoods, human development and a “people-centric approach’, the minister revealed.

Taking the floor of the House, Senator Raza Rabbani said that the government should ensure peace and tranquillity in the society maintaining writ of the state at all costs. Senator Abdul Qayyum said that action should be taken against the culprits who damaged public properties during recent protests.

The House was adjourned to meet again at 11 a.m. today (Thursday).