PM Ashraf seeks King Abdullah's help on power crisis
17 July, 2012
JEDDAH: In his meeting with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz on Monday, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf sought his help and assistance to resolve the energy crisis in Pakistan, besides discussing bilateral relations, regional and international situation with the Saudi leader.
The prime minister was accompanied by Religious Affairs Minister Khurshid Shah, Pakistan's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Muhammad Naeem Khan and other officials, while Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Ibrahim Abdul Aziz al Ghadeer and other officials represented the Saudi side.
The Saudi king told the prime minister that Saudi Arabia would extend its full cooperation and assistance to resolve energy crisis in the country, adding that the Saudi minister concerned would visit Pakistan in that regard. The prime minister, while discussing the question of food security in Pakistan, asked Saudi investors to invest in Pakistan in the agriculture sector.
Raja also briefed the Saudi king about the measures being taken by Pakistan for peace, progress and stability in the region and especially Pakistan's role in finding a peaceful settlement of the Afghan issue, in accordance with the aspirations of Afghan people.
During the meeting, which lasted for more than its scheduled time, the prime minister also told the king that Pakistani people considered him the leader of the Islamic nation.
Raja extended greetings to the king on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari. The Saudi king welcomed the prime minister as a representative of the people of Pakistan.
The prime minister told the king that he sought his guidance to overcome the difficulties being faced by the people of Pakistan. Raja also told the king that the people of Pakistan held him in high esteem. Abdullah said Pakistan was not a new friend and neither its friendship was new. He thanked the Pakistani diaspora who considered Saudi Arabia as their second home.
The prime minister expressed grief over the death of former crown prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. He told the king that people in Pakistan had strong affiliation with Saudi Arabia.
He renewed his invitation to Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz to visit Pakistan. The crown prince accepted the invitation and said the date would be finalised later.
The king asked the prime minister about details on Pakistan-India relations. Raja informed him that the relations were improving with the continuation of a dialogue process between the two countries.
Appreciating the improvement in Pakistan-India relations and expressing satisfaction on these ties, the king said the improved relations would be beneficial for the people of the two countries.
Raja also apprised the king about the efforts of the Pakistani government to improve its relations with its neighbours. The Afghan situation also came under discussion during the meeting between the two leaders.
The prime minister informed the Saudi king that he would visit Afghanistan on July 19 and meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to further improve relations between the two countries and discuss peace, stability and security in the region.
Raja thanked King Abdullah and the Saudi government for extending help to Pakistan in the hour of need, especially during the last year's floods and earthquakes.
The king said, "We are not taking any credit for this help and assistance, it was our duty to help brothers and sisters in Pakistan in case of any natural calamity."