ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday expressed gratitude for Saudi Arabia’s economic support to Pakistan and the initiatives which were underway to build a stronger economic relationship between the two countries.

The Prime Minister was talking to Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud who called on him, PM Office media wing in a Press release said. The Saudi Prince is visiting Pakistan in connection with his charity projects in Islamabad.

The Prime Minister also underscored that the relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were unique and based on shared religion, culture and history.

The Prime Minister highlighted the tourism and economic potential of Pakistan and noted the macro-economic improvements, achieved by the government including the current account surplus.

He apprised Prince Sultan about the gross human rights violations by India in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K), especially the inhuman lockdown of over 8 million people for more than 100 days.

He said that the international community should stand with the innocent Kashmiris in their just struggle.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Food Security Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiar, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood were also present during the meeting. The Prime Minister appreciated the contributions of the Saudi Arabian royal family for the welfare work in Pakistan.

He lauded the progress made by Saudi Arabia under the wise leadership of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud highlighted the close affinity between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and deeply appreciated the role played by Pakistani professionals, especially doctors and engineers in the progress and development of Saudi Arabia.

Prince Sultan underscored the need for Islamic Ummah to better understand its cultural and religious heritage and to project it to remove misperceptions about Islam.

The Prime Minister also underscored the importance of effective counter-narrative and concerted efforts to combat Islamophobia.

He underlined the need for greater engagement of the youth in this process and enhancing their pride in the history as well as achievements of the Islamic civilisation.