Statements against friendly nations aimed to sabotage foreign investment: Khawaja Asif

“There is no greater enmity against your country than this. We should treat them as enemies of the state," says defence minister

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PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat (left) and Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif . — NNI/AFP/File
PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat (left) and Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif . — NNI/AFP/File

  • Khawaja Asif underscores importance of ties with Saudi Arabia.
  • Says some political quarters trying to spread anarchy in country.
  • Mohammed bin Salman invited to visit Pakistan: defence minister.

Responding to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Sher Afzal Marwat’s groundless allegations against Saudi Arabia, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday said some political parties were trying to sabotage relations with other countries to undermine the foreign investment inflows.

“Such statements were made to serve condemned political motives and to spread anarchy so that no investment comes into the country,” he said talking to Geo News.

The federal minister emphasised the religious and economic importance of relations with certain countries for Pakistan.

"This is enmity against the country. It is done under a campaign. They feel that their policy is failing. Such behaviour towards the country was shown before. They want to create chaos in the country."

It must be noted that Marwat, speaking during a TV talk show had suggested that Saudi Arabia, alongside the United States, played a part in the ouster of Imran Khan's government.

Asif said by propagating and making statements, they were aiming to undermine Pakistan’s economic ties with other countries. “There is no greater enmity against your country than this. We should treat them as enemies of the state."

As soon as the controversial statement started doing rounds of the media, the PTI top brass distanced itself from Marwat’s allegation that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had a hand in the so-called "regime change operation".

Moreover, Barrister Aqeel Malik, the government spokesperson on Legal Affairs, said the PTI leader's statement came at a time when a high-level Saudi delegation was visiting the country. 

He termed Marwat’s statement a nefarious conspiracy to destabilise the national economy.

“Unfortunately, the PTI is full of such ‘digital extremists’ like Sher Afzal Marwat who act irresponsible on media and social media,” he said, adding that the PTI always tried to spoil relations with friendly countries. 

“The PTI’s history testifies that the party always worked against the interests of Pakistan.”

On the visit of the Iranian President to Pakistan, Asif said that state-level visits by the heads of state were not planned immediately.

“The Iranian President's visit to Pakistan was already scheduled. The recent developments between Iran and Israel have no connection with this visit. The Iranian President's visit will take place on April 22nd, 23rd, and 24th," Asif said.

He further mentioned that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, had been invited to visit Pakistan. “It is hoped that the visit will take place after finalising diplomatic matters,” he added.