Saudi crown prince MBS expected to be the guest of honour at Pakistan Day Parade: Report

Saudi crown prince MBS expected to be the guest of honour at Pakistan Day Parade: Report

ISLAMABAD – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may visit Pakistan in March and is expected to attend the Pakistan Day parade.

A report of *Express Tribune* quoting sources said the talks between the two friendly countries are in progress to finalize the dates for the MBS visit.

The de facto ruler of the kingdom will also meet the top Pakistani leadership in a bid to strengthen ties between the two sides and will attend the March 23rd parade as a guest of honor.

The upcoming visit would be Mohammed bin Salman’s second visit in three years. Earlier, he traveled to the South Asian country in 2019.

Islamabad has maintained friendly relations with Riyadh but the ties between the two countries hit an unusual roadblock after Pakistani leaders joined the Turkish President and the Malaysian Prime Minister at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in September 2019.

Amid the strained ties in previous years, Islamabad was asked to return the Saudi loan before time which experts termed as a rare instance in history. Riyadh had extended financial help to Pakistan in the past but never asked Islamabad to return the money as it either rolled over the facility or converted it into a grant.

However, in recent times the two Muslim countries are once again normal as Prime Minister Imran Khan reached Kingdom on a three-day visit to attend the ceremony of the 'Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit' being held in Riyadh last year.

The last visit led to another Saudi bailout package to the tune of $4.2 billion, $3 billion in cash support while the remaining oil facility was on deferred payment.

The two nations also cooperated to arrange an extraordinary meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers on Afghanistan in Islamabad.