Saudi Crown Prince Arrives in Pakistan for Official Visit

Manchester United's Nemanja Matic controls the ball with his chest during the Champions League round of 16 soccer match between Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester England Tuesday Feb. 12

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahood Qureshi added, "Cases of the remaining (prisoners) will be reviewed".

Crown prince Mohammed will later travel to neighbouring India amid heightened tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi over this week's suicide auto bombing in India-administered Kashmir that killed more than 40 paramilitary troops.

The Prime Minister praised the leadership of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and the efforts of his government, specially its services to the millions of pilgrims who visit the Two Holy Mosques every year.

Reports that Mohammed Bin Salman intends to buy the club are "completely false", the minister, Turki al-Shabanah, wrote on social network Twitter.

He is scheduled to visit India and China later.

The Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack and the vehicle was driven by a known local militant. Islamabad denies playing a role and has called for an investigation.

Pakistan has rejected the allegations.

The Crown Prince said the $20 billion figure represents only the start of an economic tie-up that would bring the historic allies even closer.

Saudi Arabia has in recent months helped keep Pakistan's economy afloat by propping up its rapidly dwindling foreign exchange reserves with a $6 billion loan, giving Islamabad breathing room as it negotiates a bailout with the International Monetary Fund.

The tour is seen as a attempt by the crown prince to rebuild his reputation after the murder of Saudi critic and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, analysts say.

During his two-day stay in Pakistan, the crown prince will hold formal talks with Khan to find ways to enhance bilateral cooperation.

But for analysts, the Asia tour - the largest outing on the global scene for the Saudi royal since his participation in the G20 summit in Argentina last December - is a timely demonstration to the West that he still has friends in rising Asia.

Iran's parliament speaker said Sunday that an attack that killed 27 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard was "planned and carried out from inside Pakistan", which he said should answer for it. India has vowed to isolate Pakistan internationally, including seeking Pakistan's blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which monitors financing of terrorism.

Pakistani soldiers (L) patrol on a street next to welcoming posters of Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in Islamabad on February 17, 2019.

Pakistan also said it would confer its highest civilian honour on the Saudi crown prince, the Order of Pakistan, a day after the investment deals were finalised.

Neither Washington nor Pakistan confirmed the talks, however, and the Taliban announced Sunday that they had been postponed as its militants "were unable to travel due to the U.S. and United Nations blacklist".

Fresh talks are set to be held between the U.S. and the militants in Doha on February 25.

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