Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has pointed out in an exclusive interview with the Saudi Gazette on Saturday that the visit from the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman is a reflection of the ties between the two countries. Over the years, Saudi Arabia has remained one of the strongest links of Pakistan in the international community. With countries like India trying to isolate Pakistan, the diplomatic efforts of the last six months have certainly revived Pakistan’s position in the international political arena. This particular visit to Pakistan will not only bring investment but many joint ventures along with mutually agreed upon ideas for the future of the region.

One particular area in which Saudi Arabia is interested, is the role it can play in the peace process in Afghanistan. With investments expected in Gwadar, Saudi Arabia now also has a huge stake in the region’s stability. This will automatically translate into meaningful efforts on many fronts to ensure safety in the region. This gives the Afghan peace process a new light because the previous attempts by the United States of America (USA) were being labeled as yet another ground for a civil war, and that too after the USA evacuates from the region. With Saudi Arabia invested in the region, another international player alongside China will be relying on an efficient and permanent security set up.

“The generous deposit of $3 billion and supply of oil on deferred payment is reflective of the desire of the kingdom to see a strong, vibrant and prosperous Pakistan”, said PM Khan. Agreements on multiple fronts are to be signed during this visit. Pakistan will formally propose to Saudi Arabia for initiation of a dialogue on preferential trade agreement (PTA) to promote bilateral trade and investment. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that at least eight memoranda of understanding (MoUs) will be signed between Islamabad and Riyadh. The federal cabinet reportedly granted approval for multiple agreements in water and power sectors with Saudi Arabia.

With the government relying on taxation and increase in loans to reinvent economic policies, these investment deals will provide the economy the desired boost. To make up for the lowest revenue collection in over twenty years, the government can only make up for it with money coming in from such sources. The only challenge now will be sustenance and intelligent foreign policy decisions to ensure that Pakistan remains relevant in the current global climate.