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'Sharif went to Riyadh to seek financial aid for Pak'

News Agencies | Updated on: 5 January 2018, 14:53 IST
Nawaz Sharif (ANI)

Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif went to Saudi Arabia to seek financial assistance for the country, says a close aide.

Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had returned to Pakistan after meeting the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman on Tuesday.

The Dawn quoted a close aid of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders as saying that the duo visited Riyadh to seek financial aid for the country as well as bridging differences among some Muslim states on certain issues.

"The two brothers during their meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and other influential members of the royal family lobbied for seeking a financial package for Islamabad", the source said.

On 27 December, Shehbaz Sharif reportedly left for Saudi Arab by a plane sent by the ruling family of the Gulf kingdom and Nawaz Sharif joined him three days later.

The source also claimed that a delegation of Pakistan's finance ministry will soon visit Riyadh to seal the deal.

The assistance package will be in the form of oil supplies on deferred payments, he added.

Earlier in 2013, Saudi Arabia had given Pakistan a USD 1.5 billion.

On Thursday, the United States announced that they were cutting off the military aid to Pakistan, as it has not taken "necessary steps" to curb terrorism.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said the embargo would remain in place until Pakistan takes action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network.

Nauert, in her media briefing in Washington, also noted, "No country has suffered more from terrorism than Pakistan. They understand that, but they still haven't taken the necessary steps".

The announcement comes three days after United States President Donald Trump made a scathing remark against its ally in the war on terrorism and accused Pakistan of lying and deceiving while receiving billions in aid.

The U.S. is only stopping the security aid, but the humanitarian assistance to Pakistan will continue.


First published: 5 January 2018, 14:53 IST