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Saudi defence minister awarded Pakistan’s highest civilian honour

March 24, 2024 at 12:21 pm

Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia. [Mustafa Yalçın – Anadolu Agency]

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has conferred the country’s highest civilian award, the Nishan-e-Pakistan on Saudi Arabian Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman yesterday. It is awarded to “those who have rendered services of highest distinction” to the national interest of Pakistan.

The Saudi royal earlier that day had attended a Pakistani military parade as a guest of honour, commemorating the 84th anniversary of Pakistan’s republic day. Pakistan Day is celebrated annually in recognition of the adoption of the Lahore Resolution by the Muslim League, which called for the creation of an independent state for the Muslims of India on 23 March, 1940.

A separate award ceremony was held at the Presidency, which was also attended by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif as well as federal ministers, top military leaders and members of the diplomatic corps.

“The award was conferred in recognition of Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud’s meritorious services for Pakistan and its people, enhancing defence cooperation, strengthening of bilateral ties and contributions towards peace efforts in the region,” state-run APP said.

Bin Salman also held talks with Sharif on regional matters and defence ties. Pakistan’s Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif and Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir also attended the meeting.

An official statement said “The meeting exchanged views on regional peace and security.” “Discussion also took place on increasing cooperation in the defense and security sectors between the two countries,” it added.

“Saudi Arabia has stood by Pakistan on every front,” Sharif was quoted as saying in the statement. “During my previous term as prime minister, Saudi Arabia played a key role in improving Pakistan’s economic situation.”

For his part, the Saudi defence minister said “Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have historical and strong brotherly relations, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have always been well-wishers of each other.”

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