Crown Prince visit to Pakistan enhanced the Pak-Saudi relations: Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliki

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliki hosted a colorful reception to celebrate 89th National Day of his country here at a local Hotel in Islamabad. Saudi Ambassador along with his senior embassy officials welcomed the distinguished guests. Scores of the ambassadors from diplomatic crops, parliamentarians, media personalities, security officials and business community was among the participants. Saudi Diplomatic missions across the globe celebrate its National Day every year on 23 September prominently known as (Al-Yaom-ul-Watany) to express their solidarity with 23 September 1932, when late King Abdulaziz Al- Saud announced the unification of the country as a kingdom.

It was one of the leading diplomatic receptions as compared with other diplomatic functions in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Oman wearing their traditional Arab dress were welcoming their European and African diplomatic colleagues. Guests were given inscribed green scarves with complimenting lapel pins of the Pak-Saudi flag.

Before starting the official ceremony national anthems of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were played. Saudi Envoy along with chief guest Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani cut the cake of ceremony. The reception was followed by a grand dinner where guests were served with traditional Arabian and Pakistani food.

The prime feature of the ceremony was the performance of Saudi Arabian historic traditional Ardah folk dance; a special Saudi traditional folklore group having swords in their hands performed the dance.

Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliki, while addressing the reception said that on the 23rd of September 1932, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was declared united by the late King Abdul Aziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud (May Allah have mercy on him), from that time to the present, and our country is witnessing growth and development and is growing stronger and prosperous in all fields, Maliki added. Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliki has maintained that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are enjoying best of the mutual ties for the collective good of their people and the region. The fraternal relations of the two brotherly counties are bound to go stronger further as the people and leadership of the two sides is keen to enhance the relations to new heights.

Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy, said the relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had been further strengthened in the last year, and that the visit of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan in February, had “enhanced the strength of the relationship between the two brotherly countries.” During the crown prince’s visit, Saudi Arabia pledged investment deals with Pakistan worth $20 billion, which the crown prince said would bring the historic Muslim allies closer together.

Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani the chief guest of the reception addressing on the occasion Congratulated to Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman and people of Saudi Arabia and said that National Day is an apt occasion to renew our bonds of friendship and cooperation. He called upon the Muslims to join hands for peace, unity and development across Ummah and work together for resolving issues like Kashmir and Palestine. He said we take forward our historical linkages into future by developing a strategic partnership across key areas of trade, investment, defense and security.  Chairman Senate said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will be able to explore more avenues of cooperation where both can benefit from each other’s expertise and experience.

Sadiq Sanjrani while highlighting the importance of parliamentary diplomacy underlined the need for close institutional collaboration between the two sides and said that exchange of parliamentary delegations can promote better understanding and closer relations.

Maktab ud Dawah Wa-Al Irshad a Saudi NGO headed by Motab Mohammad Al-Gdiai installed a special stall regarding the Saudi National Day. Maktab ud Dawah is working to promote Islamic education through translation of Holy Quran in different language had installed a stall having copies of Holy Quran and Hidth. At the end of the ceremony Muslim and non-Muslim guests were also provided with gift bags containing various booklets and copies of the Holy Quran in English and other languages.

Chairman Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor, Chairman Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, former federal minister Professor Ahsan Iqbal,Federal Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, SAPM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Mayor Islamabad Ansar Aziz , Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI) chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman, religious scholar Maulana Hanif Jallundhary, Senator Talha Mahmood,  former chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) retired General Ehsanul Haq were among the distinguished guests of the reception.

The writer is Editor Diplomatic News Magazine and Daily Online “The Fortress” He can be reached at arifqoreshi@gmail.com

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