Cabinet okays 8 MoUs with Saudi Arabia

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ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet meeting on Thursday gave go-ahead to ink eight memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with the Saudi Arabia during the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s upcoming visit to Pakistan. The federal cabinet meeting held in Islamabad with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair to deliberate over a 20-point agenda. The meeting was briefed about different issues including Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations, forthcoming visit of Saudi crown prince and other issues. The meeting continued for above five hours. The cabinet also discussed the Anti-Narcotics Policy-2018 and looked over the implementation of its earlier decisions in its session.

Meanwhile Prime Minister said that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman would be given unprecedented welcome upon arrival in the country. Chairing a high-level meeting, PM Imran Khan reviewed all the arrangements and security plan for the maiden visit of the Saudi crown prince, who is scheduled to touch down in Islamabad on tomorrow.
He said that the government would provide every possible facility for boosting investment and ease of doing business in the country. The prime minister said that the government was taking measures to change visa regime to facilitate business community and tourists. The meeting also finalized draft agreements which would be signed between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia during the Saudi crown prince’s forthcoming visit to Pakistan.

Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj General Asif Ghafoor, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and other high officials were present in the meeting. It is pertinent to mention here that all the arrangements have been finalised for the first-ever visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who is scheduled to touch down in Islamabad tomorrow.

The Saudi crown prince will arrive in Pakistan tomorrow for a two-day visit, according to the Saudi ambassador, and is expected to stay at the PM House. During his stay, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will be signing a number of agreements and MoUs related to diverse sectors, including investment, finance, power, renewable energy, internal security, media, culture and sports. The two countries will also discuss ways and means to develop a robust follow-up mechanism to ensure effective implementation and quick progress on tangible areas of cooperation.
Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said on Twitter Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will ink a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on drug control, smuggling and psychotropic substances. The MoU will be signed during the forthcoming visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan will announce Sehat Insaf card programme for tribal areas today. Khan will make the announcement at the Governor House during his visit to Peshawar. PM Khan had launched the first phase of health card scheme for Islamabad on Feb 4. Sources informed the gathering would be held Friday evening, adding some important figures were also invited to attend the gathering.

In the second phase, people from tribal areas are being given health cards. Some of the people from tribal districts have been invited to the event. Under the scheme, the treatment for angioplasty, brain surgery, cancer and other diseases will be done free of cost. At least 15 million people will benefit from this policy. The card holders could receive medical facilities up to Rs 720,000. The medical facilities would be available in more than 150 private and government hospitals.

At the time of launching ceremony, PM Khan had said “eradicating poverty is central to our all policies, adding that people become poor owing to expenses of their medical treatment. A poor man who makes his ends meet after much difficulty cannot afford medical treatments, the facility of Sehat card will ease the issues faced by poor citizens, the prime minister continued.
It is not easy to behold a family member suffering from cancer, when my mother was diagnosed with cancer, we had to take her abroad for treatment as there was no cancer hospital, he recalled. On January 1, Prime Minis­ter Khan had ordered to provide health cards to 500,000 families in the former Federal Administered Tri­bal Areas by the end of January.