On Friday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud will be visiting there shortly and would make an announcement on a $10 billion investment for the establishment of an oil refinery.
The prime minister said the projects offered by Saudi Arabia had been ignored and put in the doldrums by the previous government, but he revived them within 48 hours. He was criticizing the previous Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government for failing to take advantage of an opportunity given by the Saudi government to launch several projects in the country through grants, soft loans, and investment.
“Saudi Crown Prime Mohammad bin Salman will come to Pakistan soon for $9 to $10 billion investment in oil refinery,” Prime Minister Sharif said while addressing the passing-out parade of the Specialised Training Programme (STP) batch of the National Police Academy (NPA).
The crown price, according to him, indicated a willingness to fund development initiatives in Pakistan. He continued, “He (the crown prince) was willing to do anything for [the advancement of] the people of Pakistan.
The premier made his comments a few days after returning from a two-day visit to the kingdom, during which time the two leaders decided to strengthen their friendship and bilateral ties.
A team from the Saudi Development Fund (SDF) visited Pakistan earlier this year. They complained about delays in Pakistani projects brought on by the prior government during a meeting with me, he claimed.
He claimed that one of the projects was the creation of a hospital with funding from Saudi Arabia, but even that funding was turned down by the PTI administration out of concern for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).