RoundtableIslamabad, September 09, 2014: A roundtable discussion on “Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations: challenges and opportunites,” was held at the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) here today. It was chaired by Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I.) and was well attended by prominent foreign policy experts, academics, practitioners, journalists, CPGS team and university students.

The keynote speaker of the roundtable, Ambassador (R) Khalid Mehmood, Director General of the Institute of the Strategic Studies Islamabad, gave a comprehensive and incisive presentation on the past and present relations between the two countries. That was followed by a presentation by Air Commodore (R) Khalid Iqbal from Islamabad Policy Research Institute.

The discussion revolved around five basic questions. They were: What are the areas of opportunities and cooperation for the improvement of relations between the two countries; how can Pakistan improve its bilateral security and economic relations with Saudi Arabia; what is the future vision of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations; how important is cooperation between the two sides on the evolving situation in Iran and Afghanistan; what is role of Pakistan workers and labour force in Saudi Arabia?

It was recommended by the participants that we should look into what Pakistan has to offer to Saudi Arabia? We need to build insitutions for bilateral consultations, relationships and formulate strategies for a robust bilateral relationship. We need to promote joint investment between the two countries. We have to stabilize our own country first and foremost. People- to-people contact should be promoted.

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