PM returns to country after Saudi, UAE visit

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan arrived back in Pakistan on Thursday after his visit to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This was PM Imran’s first official visit to UAE and Saudi Arabia after assuming office as premier, during which he met the leaders of both countries.

In Medina, matters of mutual interest were discussed between the Kingdom and Pakistan. Afterwards, the premier performed Umrah and also paid a visit to Roza-e-Rasool (PBUH), the final resting place of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), in the company of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

The premier visited Saudi Arabia on King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s invitation, according to a statement released by Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO).

Earlier, upon his arrival at the King Abdulaziz International Airport’s Royal Terminal in Jeddah, the PM was received by Mecca Deputy Governor Prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Hasham bin Siddique.

The two-day trip began exactly one month after PM Khan assumed office, with Pakistan possibly seeking billions of dollars in assistance from allies as it seeks to avert a crisis regarding balance-of-payments.

The new premier faces challenges including an uncertain economy, religious extremism, possible drought, and a rapidly multiplying population. However, balance-of-payments is the most threatening crisis, with analysts predicting Pakistan would have to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to seek a bailout.