Saudi Arabia to become partner in CPEC: Fawad Hussain

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APP31-20 ISLAMABAD: September 20 – Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, addressing a Press Conference. APP

ISLAMABAD, Sep 20 (APP):Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Thursday said Saudi Arabia would be the third partner in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and invest in projects in Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference here, he said Pakistan had invited Saudi Arabia to join CPEC and both the countries would strengthen their strategic partnership by cooperating in areas of trade, economy and security.
He said a High Level Coordination Committee of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had been formed, adding two high powered Saudi Arabian and the United Arab Emirates delegations would visit Pakistan in next to hold talks and look into opportunities for business and investment in the country.
The delegation would include Saudi finance and energy ministers, he added.
Talking about the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia, he said for the first time in decades it was a state visit and the Pakistani delegation had the honour to visit inside the
Roza-e-Rasool (PBUH) and go inside Khana Kaaba and the Pakistani entourage offered prayers at
Riaz-ul-Janna at Masjid-e-Nabvi in Madina.
He said Pakistani community and Saudi citizens gave unprecedented welcome to the delegation led by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Riyadh and Jeddah whose roads were adorned with Pakistani flags.
The minister said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman held detailed discussions with Prime Minister Imran Khan and assured that Saudi Arabia would always stand with Pakistan.
Imran Khan told the Saudi leadership that Pakistan would always be available to Saudi Arabia in the matters of security, he added.
The minister said issues related to complication in issuance of visa was also discussed by the two sides and the Foreign Office would prepare proposals to facilitate the process of visa.
Prime Minister also held fruitful discussions with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed al Nahyan and also informed him about his narrative and initiatives related to Afghanistan.
The UAE had a prominent place in the Arab world and its viewpoint was given importance, he added.
He told that the UAE would send a delegation to Pakistan for investment in water supply projects in Karachi.
Fawad said Pakistan had also engaged Iran and India to improve ties with those countries. The United States bombed Afghanistan for 16 years but could not find any solution, he remarked.
So Afghanistan needed a solution which made it stable while Pakistan should have a normal relationship with India so that the regional countries could garner advantage through CPEC and other projects, he asserted.
He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Imran Khan had no personal dispute with Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, but it was their responsibility to protect public money.
Nawaz Sharif and other persons were given bail and would continue to be in and out of the jail as the legal proceedings would continue, he said.
He criticized the PML-N for appreciating court decisions when it came in their favour and gave negative statements when the courts decided against their leadership.
He said as the names of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz had been put on Exit Control List (ECL) so they would not be allowed to go abroad, while Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Ishaq Dar would be brought back from Britain.
“Sharif family looted public money and we will bring back the money plundered by them ,” he said adding the PTI was custodian of public money and had to take action against those who looted and took it away.
The Prime Minister had tasked Shahzad Akbar, Special Assistant on Accountability to bring back ill-gotten wealth back to Pakistan, Fawad informed.
To a question, he said the world knew what kind of relationship Nawaz Sharif had with Saudi Arabia, adding Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman was known in Arab countries for leading the campaign against corruption.
He denied that any deal or relaxation was given to the Sharif family.
He said the prosecution team of NAB in the case of Sharif family could not properly plead its case. However, Sharif family also could not justify how it bought property worth billions of rupees in the United Kingdom.
There should be equality in justice system for dealing with rich and poor people alike, he stressed.
To a question, he agreed that Pakistanis had their assets in the UAE and the United Kingdom and steps would be taken to bring back national wealth, while Pakistan was also making efforts to get access to the accounts of Pakistanis held in Switzerland.
He said National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was an autonomous institution and reforms would be undertaken in it to remove weaknesses.
To a question, he said Zulfi Bukhari was face of the PTI and was part of all important its activities and was made Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis according to law so that he could work for the welfare of the expatriates who always supported the PTI and gave funding to the party.
He said reforms would be introduced in institutions like Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television in order to improve their working and ensure welfare of employees.
He said dead property of Pakistan Railways spread over 70,000 acres and of the radio comprising 275 kanals would be utilized, so that money could be spent on poor. He said Pakistan Television had hundreds of producers and cameramen but its cameras and equipment was obsolete.
He informed that health card scheme would be extended to Islamabad and FATA areas, adding journalists and artists would also be given the health cards with which they could spend Rs 540,000 on their medical treatment.
The minister said the chief minister Punjab should look into the violation of rules and taking of pictures at Adiyala Jail at the time of release of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz.
He said the vehicles of Prime Minister House were auctioned for Rs 200 million while the remaining protected bomb and bullet proof vehicles, some of them carrying price tag of millions of rupees would be auctioned in the next phase.
Fawad Hussain said Prime Minister Imran had stated that the people of Burmese and Afghan origin who were born in Pakistan should be given identity cards, adding these people should be treated humanely and given health and education facilities.Besides they should be given an opportunity to be part of the country’s economy and political system.
The Prime Minister voiced his views as when the youth were denied opportunities they turned to crime, and added Imran Khan talked about bringing these persons without identity into national mainstream.
The Information Minister said the government wanted to give subsidies to the poor while ending subsidy for the rich.
He said electricity price increase for the poor was insignificant, Meanwhile price of a gas cylinder for the poor was reduced by Rs 200.
In his remarks about the tragedy of Karbala, he said the sacrifice rendered by Imam Hussain (RA) should be remembered as it lent strength to our faith and Islam.