Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif meets Saudi crown prince, discusses Kashmir issue | World News - Hindustan Times
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Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif meets Saudi crown prince, discusses Kashmir issue

Apr 09, 2024 09:08 AM IST

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Saudi de-facto ruler Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed regional issues, including Kashmir, a joint statement said.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Saudi de-facto ruler Prince Mohammed bin Salman held an official meeting recently at Al-Safa Palace in Mecca and underlined the importance of dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve their “outstanding issues”, with a particular emphasis on the Kashmir matter, news agency PTI reported.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in his palace on the eve of 29th Ramadan in the holy city of Mecca on April 7. (REUTERS)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in his palace on the eve of 29th Ramadan in the holy city of Mecca on April 7. (REUTERS)

In a joint statement, which was issued after the meeting between Shehbaz Sharif and Prince Mohammed bin Salman on April 7, both also stressed fortifying the fraternal relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and exploring avenues for enhanced collaboration across various sectors.

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The statement added that both leaders also discussed regional issues, including Kashmir.

“The two sides stressed the importance of dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to ensure peace and stability in the region,” PTI reported citing the statement.

New Delhi has maintained that Kashmir constitutes a bilateral matter solely between India and Pakistan, there is no question of any mediation or intervention by any third party.

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The relations between India and Pakistan further deteriorated after the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union territories on August 5, 2019. The move evoked strong reactions from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian envoy. India has always maintained that Jammu and Kashmir “was, is and shall forever” remain an integral part of the country.

India, however, always said it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence.

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On Pakistan's economy

The joint statement added that emphasis was placed on Saudi Arabia's supportive role in Pakistan's economy and the mutual desire to strengthen trade and investment ties.

“Both parties affirmed their commitment to expediting the first wave of investment package worth $ 5 billion which was discussed previously,” the statement said.

Shehbaz Sharif invited Bin Salman to undertake an official visit to Pakistan, which was accepted by the Crown Prince.

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