Schedule finalised: Saudi crown prince to arrive in Pakistan on Feb 17 instead of 16
ISLAMABAD: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is all set to visit Pakistan on February 17-18, the Foreign Office confirmed on Friday.
“The visit programme (itinerary) remains unchanged,” the FO statement added.
Earlier, he was expected to arrive on Saturday, February 16.
Sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune that preparations had been finalised to give an “unprecedented warm welcome” to the visiting dignitary, who will be received personally by Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet members at the Nur Khan Airbase on Saturday evening.
Prince Mohammad, who is also the deputy prime minister and minister of defence of the kingdom, will be conferred with Nishan-e-Pakistan – the highest civilian award — during his visit to the country.
Banners heralding Mohammad bin Salman on his maiden visit as crown prince are already lining the streets of Islamabad.
The federal capital’s “red zone”, which houses the Parliament House and the Presidency, is to be sealed off, while civil aviation authorities have been told to reschedule flights during the royal guests’ arrival and departure.
Authorities in the capital said two five-star hotels had been ordered to cancel all advance bookings as rooms will be reserved for the prince’s entourage.
The premier will also accompany Prince Mohammad on the way to the PM House, where the royal guest will be presented the guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces. PM Imran will introduce his cabinet members to the Saudi prince, who will then hold a one-on-one meeting with the former.
The Saudi guests will be provided a three-layer box security from the military airbase to the PM House. Triple-one brigade of the country’s armed forces and Saudi Royal Guards will jointly perform the security duties on the occasion.
Islamabad is hoping to sign a raft of investment deals and other agreements during the two-day visit, including a $10-billion refinery and oil complex for the strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.