On his first visit to Pakistan after becoming Crown Prince of Saudi, Mohammad bin Salman asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to consider him the ambassador of Pakistan in his country when asked to extend help to Pak labourers in Saudi.
“We can’t say no to Pakistan,” Mohammad bin Salman, also known as MBS, told Imran Khan when he asked him to extend help to the 2.5 million Pak labourers who undergo hardships while working in Saudi Arabia. Mr Salman said he will do everything he can to deliver that.
Imran Khan had put forward a request to the crown prince to treat the labourers working in his country “as their own.”
“They are very close to my heart. They leave their families and children and take all the trouble and go away to earn money. They don’t get to see their families for a year or six months,” Imran Khan said.
Calling it a “special request,” the prime minister said Saudi people are the country’s brothers and they just wanted them to “look after them during hardships.”
Saying Mohammad bin Salman “won the hearts of people of Pakistan”, Imran Khan tweeted the video of the meeting.
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman won the hearts of the people of Pakistan when he said “consider me Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia” in response to my asking him to treat the 2.5 mn Pakistani’s working in KSA as his own.#CrownPrinceinPakistanpic.twitter.com/Xr0E2EWKrK
– Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 18, 2019
Mohammad bin Salman is on a two-day visit to Pakistan crammed with meetings and ceremonies. He has extended a helping hand to the cash-strapped nation and signed a raft of investment deals on Sunday worth up to $20 billion.
He also said Pakistan was a “dear country” to all Saudis and that the two countries “have walked together in tough and good times”, Dawn news reported.
Imran Khan had also urged the Crown Prince to look into the problems of 3,000 Pakistanis held in Saudi prisons and allow completion of immigration process of Pakistani pilgrims in Pakistan.
Information minister Fawad Chaudhry announced on Twitter that Mohammad bin Salman will release more than 2,017 prisoners.
The visit was initially scheduled for February 16, but was delayed by a day for unknown reasons.
Breaking protocol, Mr Khan personally drove the Saudi royal to the Prime Minister’s House.
MBS will travel to India after his Pakistan visit, where he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Counter-terrorism and energy security are expected to top the agenda for discussions during the two-day trip.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted that this development between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will put the government of India in a “precarious position” when the crown prince visits tomorrow.
Awkward. Especially since the Crown Prince will arrive in India tomorrow for a state visit. Puts GoI in a precarious position. https://t.co/195TcUwewn
– Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 18, 2019
MBS is expected to finish his three-country trip with a visit to China on Thursday and Friday.
Imran Khan has already visited Saudi Arabia twice since coming to power.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are both involved in a months-long push led by Washington aimed at ending the conflict in Afghanistan.