Saudi minister’s visit not linked to Musharraf’s trial: Pakistan

Islamabad, Jan 6 (IANS) Islamabad Monday categorically denied that a two-day visit here of the Saudi foreign minister was linked to former president Pervez Musharraf’s ongoing high treason trial.

Pakistani foreign ministry, while rejecting as erroneous the impression about Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal’s visit, termed Musharraf’s trial as Pakistan’s internal matter, Xinhua reported.
Al-Faisal is scheduled to undertake a two-day official visit to Pakistan from Monday amid speculations that he may also discuss a possible exile deal for Musharraf.
In 1999, Saudi Arabia had brokered the exile deal for the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when Musharraf had ordered his arrest after toppling his democratically elected government in a bloodless military coup.
On Monday, Pakistan foreign ministry’s spokesperson said the latest visit was decided when Prime Minister Sharif went to New York in September last year to attend the UN General Assembly session and the Saudi Foreign minister met him there.
“This is normal interaction between states. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan enjoy a very close relationship and this would be the first high level visit after the new government in Pakistan took office,” the official said while replying to the purpose of the Saudi minister’s visit.
The visiting minister will meet Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Sharif and will hold official talks with advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to discuss ways to further expand Pakistan-Saudi ties and discuss Afghan and regional situation including post-foreign troops withdrawal from that country.