Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman will visit Pakistan in the second week of September before visiting India. His visit to Islamabad will be a very short one, people familiar with the developments said, pointing out that the visit will not be more than four to six hours. After his visit to Islamabad on September 10, he will begin his trip to India. People familiar with the developments said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, also known as, MBS, will meet caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir. However, they also said that the primary objective of the meeting will be to meet the army chief and strengthen his image because Pakistan army chief Munir will be handling important issues as he will remain in-charge behind the scenes and until an elected government replaces the caretaker setup. The people mentioned above also said that there is nothing much to read in his decision to visit Islamabad before New Delhi and it is a mere balancing act by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. Even though there is hardly any reason for Mohammad Bin Salman to visit Pakistan when a caretaker government is running the nation and one reason could be to assess if any avenues can be opened with regard to investments. “Pakistan is on sale and Saudi Arabia is one of the buyers. His visit can open more avenues,” one of aforementioned people told CNN-News18. They said that another reason is to maintain the “goodwill” between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. MBS wants to show his gratitude because Pakistan has handed to Saudi Arabia a major chunk of the business of the Gwadar Refinery project. Also it is important for the Saudi Arabian leader to visit Pakistan at this moment in order to not face criticism from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). “There is no other reason for MBS to go when nothing is in place,” one of the aforementioned people said. “The discussions between the leadership of the two countries will focus on the promotion of Pak-Saudi Arabia relations, defence ties, and joint military exercises,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement announcing his visit. It should be noted that Mohammad Bin Salman was also scheduled to visit Pakistan late last year but it was later postponed.

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