Information & Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday said the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman would be continuation of a new era of a growing relationship started by Prime Minister Imran Khan among Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Speaking at the launch of an Arab newspaper, he said Islamabad had been decorated in his honour and people were eagerly waiting to give a warm welcome to the crown prince, who on his arrival would be personally received by PM Imran Khan, adding the Air Force will perform stunts as soon as the prince lands. He said a Supreme Coordination Council of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had been set up. It would be headed by the crown prince and Imran Khan and would work for implementation of agreements between the two countries and would remove hurdles in the way. The Joint Working Group of the two countries would further coordinate for to make progress in different sectors of the economy and business. He referred to Khan’s statement that he made at the World Government Summit in Dubai in which he stressed it was time to invest in Pakistan and invited businessmen to set up projects in the country. “The Arab countries had positively responded to the gesture of the premier and were ready to make investments,” he added. Fawad Chaudhry said that during the visit of the Saudi crown prince, multiple agreements leading to huge investments in Pakistan would be signed. The investments would be the biggest in the last 10 years. High-level delegations of the two countries would hold bilateral talks to promote cooperation in diverse fields. The minister informed that Saudi Arabia planned to build two new cities which would provide numerous job opportunities for workers from Pakistan, adding Saudi Arabia had already cut visa fee for Pakistanis while Islamabad had relaxed visa regime for foreign visitors and would give incentives to Arab citizens who would visit and invest in Pakistan. Giving details of the visit, he said the president and the PM would host dinners during the two-day visit for the Saudi delegation and Pakistan would bestow its highest civil award on Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. He said Pakistan had an important role in the Middle East and Khan had begun a new era of cooperative relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Ties based on similar religious beliefs and cultural affinities between the two countries had grown from strength to strength over the generations since the time of King Abdul Aziz and now the relationship would enter a new phase built on business and investment. The crown prince considered Pakistan his second home, he observed. Chaudhry said when Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf won the last general elections and Khan became the PM, he received the first call from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. He said the government and opposition were on the same page over the Saudi crown prince visit and the people of Pakistan were happy on his arrival. He said the launch of Arab News was a welcome step and it showed that the interest of Arab countries was increasing in Pakistan, adding the publishing of Arab News would improve job market for Pakistani media persons. Chaudhry said that a fleet of Pakistan Air Force jets would escort his aeroplanes as they enter the country’s airspace. The crown prince would be given a 21-gun salute at the airport. It would be the government’s priority to utilise maximum Pakistani labour in joint projects, he added. Published in Daily Times, February 16th 2019.