By Shahid Saleem Khan
RIYADH, Oct 22: (APP): Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Lt. Gen. (r) Bilal Akbar Friday said that with 2 million Pakistani expatriates already working in the Kingdom, the number was expected to reach around 2.5 million in coming years due to increased human resource requirements under the 2030 vision of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz.
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, who enjoy broad-based strategic relations rooted deep in history, culture, religion and people to people contacts, have inter-dependence,” he said in an interaction with APP ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s October 23-25 official visit to Saudi Arabia.
The Prime Minister during his visit at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will attend the launching ceremony of the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit in Riyadh.
Besides attending the summit and sharing Pakistan’s experiences in the success of Billion Tree Tsunami initiative as one of the lead speakers, the Prime Minister during his visit will also address Pakistan-Saudi Investment Forum.
The Forum, being organized in collaboration with Saudi Ministry of Investment, will provide an opportunity to the entrepreneurs of two countries to explore the prospects of business and investment at bilateral level for win-win situation, he added.
Lt. Gen. (r) Bilal Akbar said that a delegation of Pakistani businessmen was also coming to Saudi Arabia to attend the Forum.
Highlighting the close and fraternal relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, he said, that as Saudi Arabia was a welwisher of Pakistan and its people, Pakistan also had always stood with the Kingdom and assured its territorial integrity.
The Ambassador further said that the recent release of Pakistani prisoners by Saudi Arabia including 50 from Qaseem province as well as the commitment for release of another 24 prisoners from Hail province depicted the closer bilateral relations.
He further said that Pakistani community including students were also contributing in the Green Initiative and planting trees and saplings in various parts of the Kingdom.