ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Thursday signed six loan agreements worth $122 million.

The Saudi Fund Development (SFD) and Economic Affairs Division (EAD) signed the agreements on behalf of their countries.

SFD Vice Chairman/Managing Director Eng Yousaf Ibrahim Al-Bassam and EAD Secretary Tariq Bajwa were the signatories, while Finance Minister Ishaq Dar witnessed the ceremony.

SFD would provide loans to Pakistan for healthcare, education, communications and housing.

Dar welcomed the signing of agreements, and said the government and people of Pakistan were grateful to the Saudi Government and people for their continued support to Pakistan.

Five grant agreements to the tune of 2,625,000 Saudi Riyals(equal to $67 million) were signed for the construction of Home Economics and Management Sciences College in Islamabad, building Islamabad General Hospital, reconstruction of permanent houses for the earthquake- affected people of Balochistan, construction of government buildings in Balochistan and Livelihood Restoration in Baluchistan, while a loan agreement, amounting to 206,250,000 Saudi Riyal(equal to $55 million), for the construction of two tunnels at Chella Bandi-Patika Road, Muzaffarabad, AJK has also been signed.

While on one hand, the projects will go a long way towards development in Balochistan as well as provision of quality health and educational facilities to the residents of Islamabad, on the other they will safeguard the people of AJK against constant landslides.

The signing of these agreements speaks volumes of the level of cooperation existing between the Government of Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the cordial relations based on mutual trust and understanding.

SFD vice chairman said that the SFD had provided $55 million as soft loan for Challa Bandy-Patika Road, which would overcome landslide problems and reduce the cost of transportation. He further said that the other five agreements worth $53.5 million were related to financing the vital projects in Islamabad and Balochistan in health and education sectors.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also joined hands with the United Nations agencies to overcome natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes in some areas of Pakistan,” he added.

He said that the initiatives were also aimed at helping internally displaced people, besides enhancing the humanitarian response in the country.

Eng Yousaf expressed the hope that signing of the agreements would further deepen the bilateral cooperation and the good relations between the two brotherly countries.

SFD was represented by a high level delegation, comprising Yousaf himself besides Ibrahim Albassam Muhammad A. Aljenaidel, Director General, Legal Department and Rabi Alsadoun, Director, Public Relation Department.