Islamabad: Saudi Arabia has extended a financial and economic assistance of 122 million dollars to Pakistan which is the highest amount Riyadh has officially given to Islamabad in the last five years. The signing ceremony for the grant, which includes a 67 million dollars package, took place the day Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Raheel Sharif were attending the closing ceremony of the multi-nation ‘Thunder of the North’ military exercise in Saudi Arabia,reports Dawn.
Pakistan is a member of the military alliance of Muslim countries that Saudi Arabia formed late last year to fight terrorism. The new assistance, though insignificant, can indicate improved economic ties between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, experts said.
Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Secretary Tariq Bajwa and Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD )Yousaf Ibrahim al Bassam signed five grant agreements valuing $67 million and a loan agreement of $55 million, according to EAD. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar witnessed the signing ceremony. However, the commitments were more than $348 million and the rest of the amount could not be disbursed due to multiple reasons.