Pakistan president backs $1.5-bn aid from Saudi Arabia

Pakistan president backs $1.5-bn aid from Saudi Arabia

39Islamabad, March 19 (IANS)¬†Brushing off the opposition’s criticism of a $1.5-billion aid package from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has defended the government’s policy and expressed the hope that the assistance would help the country overcome the prevailing economic crisis.

The opposition claimed that the Nawaz Sharif government was obtaining the $1.5-billion grant from Saudi Arabia at the cost of Pakistan’s foreign policy on Syria, Dawn online reported Wednesday.

“The aid has not been received from a smuggler but from a friendly country and it will be used for the welfare of the country and people,” Hussain was quoted as saying during a meeting with newly-elected office-bearers of National Press Club (NPC) Islamabad, who called on him at the presidency Tuesday.

“The hue and cry is being made on the aid given by a brotherly country,” the president said.

Hussain said that the government was trying to rid the country of crisis and, therefore, different steps were being taken.

The president added that borders should not become a hurdle in the way of friendly relations among different counties.

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wanted to maintain friendly relations with all neighbouring countries.

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