Nawaz, PM to visit Saudi Arabia

In a gesture of goodwill, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has invited Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif – who is considered closer to the royal family – and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to the kingdom to perform Umrah, well-placed sources revealed.

According to the sources privy to the development, the three-time former prime minister – who is in a self-imposed exile in London on medical grounds since November 2019 – along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other family members will depart for Saudi Arabia via a special plane on April 11. Nawaz Sharif will be a royal guest in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and would spend the last 10 days of the holy month of Ramazan in Medina and Makkah, the sources added.

However, the final schedule of Sharif’s visit to the kingdom has not been announced yet. It is pertinent to mention here that various ministers and parliamentarians have devised plans to perform Umrah during the period. PM Shehbaz Sharif and senior federal ministers are expected to visit Kingdom on April 25 or 26. The PML-N leadership will also hold consultative meetings along with performing Umrah, sources added. Sources further claimed that the meeting will consult on Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan. A team of employees have reached the Kingdom for arrangements for the visit of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz. On the other hand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched efforts to organise a meeting between PM Shehbaz Sharif and Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. The ministry was planning the prime minister’s visit to the kingdom, sources added.