Prime Minister’s Special Representative (PMSR) for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Tuesday lauded Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman for extending support to Pakistan in this trying time. Citing the statement of Saudi Crown Prince for increasing the Kingdom’s assistance and investment in Pakistan, he, in an exclusive talk with APP, said it was explicit evidence of exclusive diplomatic and religious affinity between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Ashrafi, who is also the chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council, said the Saudi Fund for Development would conduct a study on increasing the deposit in Pakistan’s central bank to $5 billion from $3 billion and it would also assess the plan to increase investments in Pakistan to $10 billion from the previous $1 billion as per reports. The PMSR also expressed gratitude to the international donors, including Saudi Arabia, for committing over $9 billion to help Pakistan recover from the ruinous floods and exceeding its external financing goals at a Geneva meeting co-hosted by the United Nations and Government of Pakistan. This generous aid for rehabilitation and reconstruction and other climate change-related damages would help flood-affected populations recover and rebuild infrastructure, he maintained. He also appreciated the efforts of Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for drawing the world’s attention towards the massive loss of life and property caused by recent floods in Pakistan. On the recent visit of Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir to Saudi Arabia, Ashrafi said it was a good omen that the new army chief paid his first visit to the holy land where he was accorded warm welcome by the higher hierarchy of the state. “We should be proud of our military leadership instead of criticizing it unwittingly. If the COAS’ visit to Saudi Arabia brings huge fortune in the shape of aid and investment in the country, it would be a constructive development to bring the country out of the recent financial crisis.” He also proposed to the people to avoid undue criticism of the COAS’s visit to Saudi Arabia for political point-scoring and personal gains.