ISLAMABAD  -   President Dr Arif Alvi has said that Pakistan greatly values its relations with the brotherly country, Saudi Arabia.

He said this while talking to Imam-e-Kaaba Sheikh Dr Abdullah Awad Al Juhany, who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr here on Monday.

He said both the countries have shared bonds of history, culture, traditions, faith and values.

The Imam-e-Kaaba also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here.

Recalling the highly successful visit of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to Pakistan, the President said that the Crown Prince won the hearts of Pakistani people by his generous offer of support to Pakistani community.

He appreciated Saudi Arabia for its support to Pakistani pilgrims visiting the Kingdom for Hajj and Umrah every year.

He also welcomed the Kingdom’s decision of increase in Hajj quota for Pakistan to 200,000 and inclusion of Pakistan in its ‘Road to Makkah’ initiative.

He hoped that the project will be extended to all Pakistani airports for Hajj 2020.

The President pointed out that large Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia is a strong people-to-people bridge between the two brotherly countries.

He said Pakistanis consider Saudi Arabia as their second home and work devotedly for the progress and prosperity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He also conveyed regards and greetings to King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the brotherly people of Saudi Arabia.

On the occasion, Imam of Masjid Al-Haram said that relationship of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is not merely a diplomatic one but it is based on faith.

He said Pakistan is the strength of Saudi Arabia and hearts of people of both the countries beat together.

He stressed that there should be more frequent exchange of delegations between the two countries in various fields.

Meanwhile, the Imam-e-Kaaba also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs was also present during the meeting.

Kartapura corridor a good neighbourly gesture

President Dr Arif Alvi has said that Kartapura corridor has been established by the government as a good neighbourly gesture.

Addressing an event in connection with the Baisakhi festival celebrations here on Monday.

The President said that Pakistan remains committed to secure the sacred places and knows well the value of peace and stability in the region.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan well reflected the demand of peace through his actions. He said when the division in the society takes place on the basis of ethnicity and religion, it will be very destructive, damaging and will take decades to heal the society.

He said people to people contacts are of vital importance to get acquainted people of different countries with the culture and customs of each others.

Dr Alvi emphasised the need for good relations between Pakistan and India in the best interest of the region and people of both the countries. He said that security situation in the country has been improved to the significant extent that greatly benefited the tourism sector.

He said the way Pakistan dealt with the menace of terrorism inside and outside is remarkable.

The President expressed the confidence that the opening of Kartarpur Corridor will help establish better relations between the two neighborly countries.

Sardar Tara Singh of Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee said Prime Minister Imran Khan has won the hearts of Sikh community by announcing to open the Kartarpur Corridor.

Group leader of Sikh Yatrees from India, Ravinder Singh Khalsa appreciated the steps taken by Pakistani government for preservation and upkeep of their ritual sites. He said our future generations will always remember the initiative taken by Pakistani government for opening the Kartarpur corridor.

On the occasion, Sikh Yatrees also presented different gifts to President Arif Alvi.