Imran Khan picks up Abu Dhabi crown prince at airport, drives car himself to PM House

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jan 06, 2019, 07:32 PM(IST)

Pakistan PM Imran Khan with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. (Image source: imrankhan.pti) Photograph:( Instagram )

Story highlights

The UAE recently announced aid to Pakistan which is currently suffering from a massive balance of payments crisis.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan received Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Islamabad airport on Sunday and then drove him himself to the PM House. 

A formation of air force jets marked Zayed's arrival with a flyby. Zayed was also given a guard of honour at PM House and a 21-gun salute. 

The UAE recently announced aid to Pakistan which is currently suffering from a massive balance of payments crisis, which explains the red carpet welcome. 

The video of Zayed being driven by Khan was put out on his official Instagram account. 

Khan received praises on the internet for personally welcoming the Crown Prince and reviving the ties with UAE. 

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Banners on the road depicted the crown prince and read "Zayed in Our Hearts" and "Pakistan-UAE partner in development".

The United Arab Emirates is Pakistan's largest trading partner in the Middle East and a major investment source, Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement ahead of the visit.

More than 1.5 million Pakistanis live in the Gulf state and send millions of dollars in remittances back home, it added.

The crown prince last visited Pakistan in January 2007.

The UAE announced in December it would deposit $3 billion in the central bank of Pakistan to help "enhance liquidity" as the country struggles with a widening balance of payments crisis.

The Pakistani rupee plunged almost five per cent to a record low at the end of November, after what appeared to be the sixth devaluation by the central bank in the past year. 

It also secured $6 billion in funding from Saudi Arabia and struck a 12-month deal for a cash lifeline during Khan's visit to the kingdom in October.

Islamabad has also received billions of dollars in Chinese loans to finance ambitious infrastructure projects.

A team from the International Monetary Fund visited Pakistan in November to discuss a possible bailout with officials but talks ended without agreement.

(With inputs from AFP)

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