Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa who started his Saudi Arabia visit on Monday to calm diplomatic strains has returned home after been declined a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Gen Bajwa had to settle for a meeting with the Deputy Defence Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Salman, also the younger brother of the Crown Prince, as well as Maj Gen Fayyad Al Ruwaili, the kingdom’s chief of general staff, people familiar with the matter in Riyadh and New Delhi.
Bajwa is learnt to have conveyed the Imran Khan government’s apology over foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s statement that criticised Saudi Arabia over the reluctance of the Organisation of Islamic Countries to convene a meeting of OIC foreign ministers to discuss Kashmir.
But the regret conveyed to Deputy Defence Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Salman during their meeting on Tuesday, didn’t get Islamabad any further in Riyadh. General Bajwa’s interactions in the kingdom were limited to Saudi’s defence establishment, just as Pakistan military had claimed after news of General Bajwa’s trip was leaked back home.
This version was, however, contradicted by Pakistan minister Sheikh Rasheed on Saturday who told a news channel that the army chief was visiting Saudi Arabia to iron out outstanding minor differencesRead more…