Amidst fresh India-Pakistan tensions, Saudi Arabia on Monday called for avoiding "politicisation" of the UN listing regime at a time when India was stepping up its efforts to brand the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group's chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stressed that dialogue is the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region to resolve "outstanding issues" between India and Pakistan, according to a joint statement issued at the end his visit.
"They also underlined the need for avoiding politicisation of UN listing regime," the joint statement said in an apparent reference to India's bid to list JeM's Pakistan-based chief Azhar as a global terrorist.
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Crown Prince Salman, who is visiting India on February 19-20, held talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on the issue of terrorism.
India is likely to strongly raise the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman even as the two countries will look at further enhancing defence ties, including having a joint naval exercise, during his two-day visit here beginning Tuesday, officials and sources said.
Saudi Arabia on Sunday signed an agreement to invest USD 20 billion in cash-strapped Pakistan. It also pointed out to the "efforts exerted by both sides, stressing that dialogue is the only way to ensure peace and stability in the region to resolve outstanding issues". The joint statement avoided mentioning Jammu and Kashmir by name, which has angered some Pakistanis.
"I am disappointed that Kashmir is not mentioned in the joint statement but I also understand why it is not," former foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri told Dunya TV.
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According to Advisor to PM on Trade, Razzak Dawood, agreements worth around USD 20 billion has been signed, including one about Saudi investment to build an oil refinery. The refinery once ready will help to save about USD 1.25 billion in imports bills.
The two sides will also set up an advisory council led by the crown prince and the prime minister of Pakistan to follow up the agreement singed so that they are implemented on time.