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Saudi Arabia willing to set up $10bn oil refinery : PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday that Saudi Arabia is ready to establish US$9-10 billion oil refinery in the country.

Addressing the passing out ceremony at National Police Academy, he said that during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, he requested Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman for making investment and he shown willingness to set up oil refinery and other projects in Pakistan.

He maintained that MBS stated that he was ready to do anything for Pakistan as both the countries are like a family and sought completion of feasibility study of the projects, including $9-10 billion oil refinery.

He said that the oil refinery project is the same one that was agreed in 2019 but no progress was made on it during last three years.

Sharif said that Saudi Arabia had made investment in other countries after being disappointed and now after difficulty, he persuaded them during his recent visit for making investment in Pakistan.

He said that he was embarrassed after a delegation of Saudi Development Fund (SDF) showed him a plethora of projects and stated that this project was given 8 years ago and this one 5 years ago.

Upon this, he said that he requested two-week time from SDF and directed his team to complete the necessary work of the projects within 48 hours, adding everything was completed within 48 hours and placed before the SDF.

The premier added that among these projects also included a gift of hospital but regretted that no work was started on it for the last 6 years as even procedural work was not completed.

Sharif stated that if someone gives justification of NAB for not undertaking the projects, it is altogether a different matter but regretted that a hospital, which was a gift from Saudi Arabia.

He said that Saudi Crown Prince is coming to Pakistan soon, adding that China is also Pakistan’s friend and he would be visiting China soon. Both Saudi Arabia and China, he said stood by Pakistan in every difficulty.

He asked that what the need to spoil relations with the US was. He said the present government is trying to improve these relations as the country has to live in this world.

“We need to learn from past mistakes and without going to any political points coring, the questions are being asked by the youth as to where Pakistan is standing after 75 years,” he added.

He said that Pakistan had everything but regretted that country has not taken benefit from the blessing, adding if we had taken advantage of the blessing, after 75 years, the country could have been fastest growing one.

He also stated that when Bangladesh and Pakistan were together, there was thinking that Bangladesh is a burden and must be gotten rid of, which was a wrong thinking, adding today Bangladesh’s exports are more than Pakistan’s.

Earlier, he lauded the police and other law enforcement agencies for their efforts against terrorism and stated that police academy should have an excellent forensic lab that would provide services to the entire country.

He said that the government is also helping flood victims by providing money, food, and tents.

He said that there is no shortage of funds for establishing a forensic lab in Islamabad, but if there is trust, honesty and dedication, everything can be done.

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