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PM Shehbaz to lead 40-member delegation to Saudi Arabia in first foreign trip

27 Apr, 2022
<p>“On the invitation of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif will visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 28-30 April 2022,” read the Foreign Office statement on Wednesday. Screengrab via Twitter/<a rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" class="link--external" href="https://twitter.com/PakPMO">@PakPMO</a></p>

“On the invitation of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif will visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 28-30 April 2022,” read the Foreign Office statement on Wednesday. Screengrab via Twitter/@PakPMO

ISLAMABAD. Leading a team of 40 members, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will visit Saudi Arabia on Thursday (tomorrow) which will be his first visit abroad since becoming premier earlier this month.

“On the invitation of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif will visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 28-30 April 2022,” read the Foreign Office statement issuied on Wednesday.

During the visit, the PM will have bilateral interaction with the Saudi leadership, with a particular focus on advancing economic, trade and investment ties and creating greater opportunities for the Pakistani workforce in Saudi Arabia. The two sides will also exchange views on a range of regional and international issues of mutual interest.

“The bilateral relationship is complemented by close mutual collaboration at regional and international fora. Saudi Arabia is a member of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir,” it read.

The official handout read that Saudi Arabia is home to more than two million Pakistanis, contributing to the progress of the two countries. “The Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia will impart a strong impetus to deepening bilateral cooperation in diverse fields and further reinforce the growing partnership between the two countries,” it read.

Big entourage

According to a notification, a copy of which is available with Aaj Digital, as many as 16 family members of PM Shehbaz are part of the 40-member delegation. The preceding PTI government has slammed the new coalition government for such an entourage and accused the PML-N of booking a charter flight.

Out of the 16 members of the Sharif family, four would join from Doha and two from London.

In a statement on Tuesday, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that PM Shehbaz was not going to Saudi Arabia on a chartered plane. The minister said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders should not “mislead the masses through false and baseless propaganda.”

She clarified that the prime minister would go to Saudi Arabia on a commercial flight and he would bear the expenses of his visit. “For 10 years as Punjab’s chief minister, Shehbaz Sharif used to pay his travel expenses out of his own pocket.”

However, ANP leader Ameer Khan Hoti has excused himself from visiting Saudi Arabia at the government’s expense. He appreciated the premier’s invitation but maintained that offering Umrah and expressed hope the new government would take the allies in confidence on national matters.

List of delegation

Party heads

  • JUI-F chief Moulana Fazalur Rehman
  • Minister for Communications Moulan Asad Mehmood
  • PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
  • PPP MNA Shaufta Jumani
  • BNP leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal
  • BAP leader Sardar Khalid Magsi
  • MQM-leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui
  • ANP leader Ameer Haider Hoti
  • Minister for Narcotics Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti
  • MNA Mohammad Aslam Bhootani
  • MNA Ali Nawaz Shah
  • MNA Mohsin Dawar
  • PkMAP leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai
  • NP President Malik Baloch
  • JUP leader Shah Awais Noorani

Former SAPM

  • Former SAPM on Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Affairs Tahir Ashrafi

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Foreign Affairs Secretary Sohail Mahmood
  • Chief of State Protocol Ali Haider Altaf

Personal Staff

  • Military Secretary to the Prime Minister Brigadier Muhammad Ahmad
  • Personal Staff Officer to the Prime Minister Sumair Ahmad Syed
  • Aide de Camp to the Prime Minister Lieutenant Commander Bilal Ahmad Raja
  • Valet Zia ul Haq

Security Staff

  • CSO to the Prime Minister Superintendent of Police Mahzoor Ali Ghauri

List of family members and staff Islamabad

Islamabad- Jeddah

  • Mr Hamza Shehbaz Sharif
  • Mrs Hamza Shehbaz Sharif
  • Ms Samawiyah Hamza Shehbaz, daughter of Hamza Shehbaz
  • Ms Nasreen, Maid of Hamza Shehbaz family
  • Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar
  • Maryam Nawaz Sharif
  • Mrs Sabiha Abbas Sharif
  • Mr Yousaf Abbas Sharif
  • Mrs Yousaf Abbas Sharif
  • Mr Umama Yousaf Abbas, son of Yousaf Abbas Sharif

Doha-Jeddah

  • Mr Suleman Shehbaz Sharif
  • Mrs Suieman Shehbaz Sharif
  • Mr Haider, son of Suleman Shehbaz Sharif
  • Ms Asma, maid of Sulemnan Shehbaz Sharif family

London – Jeddah

  • Mr Husain Nawaz
  • Mrs Hussain Nawaz