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Saudi Crown Prince Urges India-Pakistan Dialogue in Meeting with Pakistani PM

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Riyadh and emphasized the need for dialogue to address heightened tensions between Pakistan and India. This meeting marked Sharif’s first overseas visit since assuming power after the February elections. The two leaders highlighted the importance of dialogue between the two nations to resolve outstanding issues, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, aiming to ensure peace and stability in the region.

The Kashmir region, claimed in full but ruled in part by both India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947, has been a focal point of conflict, leading to several wars between the neighbors. Relations deteriorated further after a 2019 suicide bombing in Kashmir, which India attributed to Pakistan-based militants, prompting retaliatory airstrikes by India.

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently stated that India would pursue militants across the border into Pakistan if necessary. Meanwhile, reports surfaced that India had conducted operations in Pakistan to eliminate militants, reflecting the complex security dynamics in the region.

India maintains strong ties with Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, which have strengthened under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the meeting, Sharif and Bin Salman also discussed expediting a planned $5 billion investment package to support Pakistan’s economic challenges, particularly its current account deficit.

Earlier, Pakistan had alleged Indian involvement in the killing of its citizens on its soil, a claim India dismissed as “false and malicious” propaganda.

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