Thursday, 01 October 2020, 04:17:15 am
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have commonality of interest on various regional and international issues: Analysts
August 08, 2020

Mirza Ikhtiyar Baig (Economist): Different countries in the world adopted different strategies to overcome COVID-19. Pakistan adopted the policy of smart lockdowns through which not only the spread of COVID-19 was curtailed, but also the economic activities were resumed. Pakistan has now over 19 billion dollars in its foreign exchange reserves and stock exchange has crossed the mark of 40,000. Today, Moody’s has upgraded Pakistan’s credit rating to B3 with the outlook at stable after it had initiated a review for downgrade. All these are positive economic indicators. Pakistan has also played an important role in Afghan peace process that has been acknowledged by United States and its allies. China is also willing to import oil through Gawadar port that will generate revenue as well. Saudi Arabia has historic relations with Pakistan and Riyadh supported Pakistan through 3 billion dollars as soft deposit to fulfill the requirement for IMF bailout package. Saudi Arabia also provided Pakistan with deferred oil facility. In the current situation and importance of Saudi Arabia as a respected Muslim country, it is vital that relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia must be strengthened.

Khalid Khattak (Former Ambassador): There is certain commonality of interest between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and the main feature is that both countries want stability in the region. The two countries are determined to continue building unwavering diplomatic ties based on the commitment to support each other for the promotion of the peace and prosperity. The relations are deeply rooted in centuries old religious, cultural and commercial bonds between the two peoples based on shared Islamic ideals. Thousands and thousands of Pakistan have been working in Saudi Arabia. Similarly, Saudi Arabia has supported Pakistan in every critical juncture.

Ali Muhammad Khan (Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs): First of all, I would like to appreciate the role played by Radio Pakistan on 5th of August regarding Youm-e-Istehsal. The plantation drive was initiated by PTI government in KPK and that was a successful campaign. The barren land has now been converted into green patches. The participation of Prime Minister and the parliamentarians in clean and green Pakistan campaign is symbolic one but the main responsibility will be on youth and civil society. The participation of civil society in any government campaign is vital for the success of it. The present government has taken strict action against the timber mafia. Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar is devoted and hard working person. Usman Dar is determined that the Tiger Force will plant one billion saplings and I wish him best of luck in this regard.

Momi Saleem (Environmentalist): The dedicated efforts made by incumbent government relating to Green Pakistan are unprecedented. The plantation drive was initiated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by PTI government during the previous tenure where the survival ratio of trees was up to 70% to 80%. United Nations has also hailed the efforts of the government to meet the goals of mitigating the impacts of climate change. The resolve of the government is to turn the barren lands into green areas. Environment is not just a policy issue but it is also related to behavioral change. Everybody has to step out and participate in government's campaign of planting 10 billion trees as the livelihood of people is connected to the environment. The government also needs to create awareness about the importance of forestation among the people. The educational institutions should also be involved in tree plantation.