ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that Pakistan buys oil from Saudi Arabia and and Gulf states on international price and gets no free oil from the kingdom.

He said only once in history Saudi Arabia gave free oil worth $2 billion and that was after Pakistan’s nuclear tests.

“We buy oil from Saudi Arabia , United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman following normal business norms.”

In an interview with BBC Thursday, Dar said that attack on Saudi Arabia will be considered attack on Pakistan and then Islamabad would have no option except practically getting involved in the war. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif taking initiative visited Turkey and asked the Iranian Foreign Minister to bring the Houthis on negotiation table.

Talking about Pakistan’s current role in Yemen conflict, he said that Pakistan is providing intelligence and logistic support to Saudi Arabia which is also being provided by Turkey, Britain and America. He brushed aside the impression that Pakistan’s decision of not sending its troops to Yemen would damage Islamabad’s relations with Gulf States.

To a question about remittances sent by Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia and Gulf States, the amount helps Pakistan minimize its financial deficit. But, he said, “We must not forget that the Pakistanis are providing great services there and they are given nothing for free.” He went on to say that the Pakistanis have been paid lesser wage as compared to the citizens of other countries.

Brushing aside the rumours about Saudi Arabia’s secret help in Pakistan’s nuclear and defence project, Dar said Riyadh provided Islamabad no secret help. “Saudi Arabia gave us free oil of $2 billion after nuclear tests and we are always grateful to this favour,” he said adding that Saudi Arabia also gifted $1.5 billion after PML-N government came into power in 2013. He said that Pakistan is not receiving any support in connection with ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists.