Nation special report
RIYADH: Upset with the unprecedented corruption within the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan has categorically stated to seek advice and to adopt Chinese system to nab white collar crime. In an interview here, he said that he is going to China next week and will discuss this issue with Chinese leaders. Earlier, during his previous visit to Saudi Arabia, in a TV interview, he referred Saudi ‘formula’ to grab looted money and said that he likes this procedure to implement in Pakistan for the same purpose.
Imran Khan was successful in making the Kingdom agree to provide Pakistan $3 billion dollars for a year to address its balance-of-payments crisis.
The Kingdom has also agreed to provide Islamabad a one-year deferred payment facility for import of oil, worth up to $3 billion.
The agreements in this regard were signed during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia to attend the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference, a trip he undertook on the invitation of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.
RIYADH: Prime Minister Imran Khan meeting with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz at the Royal Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday.
According to a press release issued by the government, several far-reaching decisions on bilateral economic and financial cooperation were reached during the discussions held between Pakistani and Saudi officials:
- It was agreed that Saudi Arabia will place a deposit of US $3 billion for a period of one year as balance-of-payment support. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in this regard between Finance Minister Asad Umar and Saudi Finance Minister Muhammad Abdullah Al-Jadaan.
- It was also agreed that a one-year deferred payment facility for import of oil, up to $3 billion, will be provided by Riyadh. This arrangement will be in place for three years, after which it will be reviewed.
- Saudi Arabia also “confirmed its interest” in investing in a petroleum refinery in Pakistan. An MoU for this project will be signed after obtaining the cabinet’s approval.
- The Kingdom also expressed interest in the development of mineral resources in Pakistan. In this regard, the federal government will hold consultations with the Balochistan government, following which a Saudi delegation will be invited to Pakistan to finalise matters.
Address in Riyadh
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday spoke at the Future Investment Initiative Conference (FIIC) in Riyadh, where he discussed Pakistan’s economic challenges and invited foreign investors to invest in the country.
“Pakistan has 100 million people below the age of 35,” he told his audience. “There is a big pressure on the government to find employment for this population.
“We are trying to create an enabling environment for investment. The plan is not just to attract foreign and overseas investors, but our own investors as well. We are restructuring our duty sectors [in this regard],” he said.
The premier vowed to facilitate foreign investors, and added that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is already helping the country attract foreign investment.
The prime minister said that Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours, especially Afghanistan and India, are crucial, and expressed disappointment that the latter did not reciprocate his attempts for reconciliation.
“What we need is stability, and stability means peace with all neighbours,” he said. “Our problems right now are with Afghanistan and India. When I won the elections and came to power the first thing I tried to do was extend a hand of peace to India, but I am afraid we got no response from India. In fact, we got rebuffed.”
“Now what we are hoping is that we wait until the elections then again we will resume our peace talks with India,” he added, referring to upcoming nationwide polls in India scheduled to take place by mid-May.
PM Khan said he has asked the Chinese government to help Pakistan in two areas: eliminating corruption and ending poverty.
“China in the past five years has really clamped down on corruption,” he said. “We have corruption so we are going to look for ways, because white-collar crime is very hard to prosecute.
“Secondly, the way in which they have brought this huge number of people out of poverty …we have already asked the Chinese government to help us in these two areas.”
Later in the day, PM Khan and his delegation met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, according to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s official Twitter account. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and PM’s commerce adviser Abdul Razak Dawood also attended the meeting.