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Pakistan says Saudi crown prince orders 2,100 Pakistani prisoners released

Pakistan says Saudi crown prince orders 2,100 Pakistani prisoners released

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's three-nation tour of Asia is about demonstrating that he stands tall - despite Western criticism of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen - as it is about exploiting the geopolitical and economic opportunity.

During the official talks, the Crown Prince praised openness and efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan for dialogue with India and the opening of the Kartarpur crossing point and the efforts exerted by both sides. - AFP At a ceremony in the PM House, Pakistan and Saudi officials signed MoUs for bilateral cooperation in a number of areas - a process overseen by Prime Minister Khan and MBS.

Prince Mohammed changed his itinerary at the last minute, delaying by a day his arrival in Pakistan and postponing visits to Malaysia and Indonesia.

On Sunday, Pakistan Air Force jets escorted crown prince Mohammed's flight when he entered the country's airspace.

The Crown Prince was presented with a Guard of Honour by a sharply dressed military contingent at the PM House, which was lit with decorative lights.

The Saudis, after initially denying any knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance, finally acknowledged that a team killed him inside the consulate, but described it as a rogue operation that did not involve the crown prince.

Crown prince Mohammed will later travel to neighbouring India amid heightened tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi over this week's suicide auto bombing in India-administered Kashmir that killed more than 40 paramilitary troops.

The club did not comment on the reports about takeover interest from Saudi Arabia ahead of the minister's denial.

Islamabad is facing a serious balance of payments crisis and hopes the huge deals signed over the two-day visit - seven separate agreements and memorandums of understanding - will boost its struggling economy.

The chairman of the upper house of parliament said that "Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 is a roadmap of peace, growth and prosperity".

In an interview with an Arab TV aired before the Saudi visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan was quoted as saying that he shares the vision of the Saudi Crown Prince.

"Reports claiming that HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman intends on buying @ManUtd are completely false", Al-Shabanah tweeted from a verified account.

The move is at odds with other countries who have condemned the Kingdom over its role in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi past year.

The Crown Prince expressed satisfied confidence in the leadership of Pakistan.

However, Islamabad has also tried to walk a fine line by maintaining warm relations with its neighbour - and Saudi Arabia's regional foe - Iran.

Saudi prosecutors say the plan was masterminded by two former advisers to the crown prince.

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