Dr. Awwad’s visit paves the way for broader interactions between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad, Culture and Information Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) paid a three days tour of Pakistan and held a series of meetings with Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr. Arif Alvi, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmmod Qureshi, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sahibzada Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan Asad Qaiser and Shehryar Khan Afridi, State Minister for Interior.

The delegation headed by Saudi Information Minister Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad was comprised Fahim Bin Hamid Al Khalid, Advisor to Saudi Information Minister and President of Islamic Communication Centre, Adel H Kattan, Director of public relations and other high officials of Information ministry.

Visit of Pakistan Television Headquarter (PTV)

Upon his arrival in Islamabad Saudi culture and information minister Dr Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad first assignment was with Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain. In the meeting there was consensus that both countries will have to work together to expand cooperation in diverse fields including media and strengthen the existing warm ties.

Latter Dr Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad along with Chaudhry Fawad Hussain visited Pakistan Television Headquarters where senior officials of PTV briefed the visiting dignitary about the different departments and operational system of state rum PTV.

Interaction with media persons

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain hosted a lunch in honor of Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad at a local hotel in Islamabad. A group of leading and prominent TV channels anchors, Journalist, writers and columnists were invited to interact with the visiting dignitary.

Saudi Information and Culture Minister, Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad addressing the audience said media of both the countries is playing a key role in promoting of bilateral relations and Saudi Arabia is keen to promote cooperation with Pakistan in the fields of trade & economic development besides media.

Meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan

Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad, Culture and Information Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia called on Prime minister Imran Khan, while speaking to the Saudi minister; PM underscored the strong bilateral relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. PM invited greater investment by Saudi public and private sectors in petroleum, energy, livestock and agriculture sectors. He also emphasized the need for addressing the current imbalance in bilateral trade between the two countries, which is tilted in favor of Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad conveyed to PM Imran Khan the felicitations of Saudi leadership on assuming the office and invited him to visit Saudi Arabia.

Attend the oath taking ceremony of President Dr. Arif Alvi

Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad, the culture and Information Minister of Saudi Arabia attended the oath taking ceremony of 13th president of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi. President welcomed the Saudi dignitary and expressed his deep appreciation for the warm message of felicitations by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince His Royal Highness Muhammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz.

Meeting with Chief of Army Staff (COAS)

Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad, Information Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) called on General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), at GHQ. Matters of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting. Visiting dignitary lauded the strong and brotherly bilateral ties. Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad also reaffirmed KSA’s full support to Pakistan in its efforts towards peace and stability.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad held meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at foreign office. Foreign Minister on the occasion highlighted the importance attached by Pakistan to its relations with the Kingdom and commitment of the Government of Pakistan to translate the longstanding historic relations between the two countries into enhanced economic partnership. He also assured Dr. Awwad of Pakistan’s continued support to the Kingdom in attaining its Vision 2030.

Interaction with Speaker National Assembly

In his interaction with Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser,  the Saudi Minister Dr Awwad Bin Saleh Al-Awwad assured to resolve problems of Pakistani citizens serving in Saudi Arabia. The Speaker said that there is a long history of mutual cooperation between the two countries. The generous Saudi investments in various projects in Pakistan and the services rendered by more than 2.6 million Overseas Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia reflect common interests.

State minister for Interior meets Dr. Awwad

Saudi Minister for culture and Information, Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad met with Shehryar Khan Afridi, State Minister for Interior. Shehryar Khan Afridi on the occasion raised the issue of Pakistani citizens working in kingdom including the Pakistanis who are in jails of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad assured and promised of assess and cooperation in this regard.

The Crux of Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad visit of Pakistan

Upon his departure from Pakistan Dr Awwad Bin Saleh Al-Awwad termed his three-day visit to Pakistan as very fruitful during which he met with the top leadership of the country. Talking to media at the Noor Khan Airbase he Pakistan is like a second home to him and both the countries had solidified their relationship during the last six decades.

Dr. Awwad during his interactions with desired to enhance existing relations to other segments of societies. His desire to know more about the Pakistani films, dramas and cinema showed his interest and commitment regarding Pakistan culture. His announcement to show Pakistani dramas in Saudi Arabia was highly appreciated across the country.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are closely interacting in different spheres of life but luckily there is realization on both sides that the potential for economic cooperation has not yet been fully tapped. And now hopefully with the tour of Saudi Culture and Information Minister Dr Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad tour these areas will be addressed in future.

This article was published in October edition of “The Fortress”

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