Islamabad, Feb 17 (IANS) Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman arrived in Pakistan on Sunday on his first-ever visit after becoming heir to the throne in April 2017.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was present at the Nur Khan Air Base in Rawalpindi to welcome the Saudi crown prince, whose aircraft was given a honour guard by the Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17 and F-16 fighter jets as soon as it entered the country’s airspace, media reports said.
A 21-gun salute was also given to the Saudi royal.
Federal Ministers and Pakistan Army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa were also present at the air base to welcome him.
Setting aside protocol, Prime Minister Khan personally drove Prince Mohammad to the PM’s House, where a welcome ceremony was held in his honour.
Pakistan is the first leg of Prince Mohammad’s three-nation visit which will also take him to India and China. Accompanied by a high-level delegation, including members of the Saudi royal family, key ministers and leading businessmen, he is expected to sign multiple pacts in all the countries.
He was initially due to reach Pakistan on Saturday but his arrival was delayed by a day. Saudi Arabia has not cited any reason for the delay.
Pakistan has described the Crown Prince’s two-day visit as a “historical one” which will help stabilise its crippling economy as over $21 billion worth of agreements are likely to be signed between the two countries.
Two receptions will be held in the Presidency and the Prime Minister’s House in honour of the Crown Prince and he will also hold one-on-one meetings with President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Khan.