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Protest Rallies Continue in Pakistan against MbS Visit

The Pakistani people in different cities continue rallies for the third consecutive day to protest at the visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Islamabad.

The protestors who carried banners reading “we are opposed to the visit by murderer of Yemeni people and Jamal Khashoggi to our country and he is not welcome” called for calling off the trip.

Many Pakistani cities, including Karachi and Lahore, have witnessed protest rallies against the MbS’ visit to Pakistan.

Meantime, the Pakistani government is attempting to display calm is prevailing the country as the MbS arrives in Islamabad and declared Monday as an official holiday to reduce highly congested traffic in the capital.

Pakistani people believe that Saudi Arabia is trying to coax Islamabad into playing a role in Yemen war, warning that bin Salman’s presence will strengthen the terrorist and extremist groups.

Protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers in Rawalpindi, Northern Pakistan, calling on the government not to allow the Saudi prince into the country.

Leaders and activists of different parties and organizations as well as political and religious figures attended the rally.

Demonstrators say bin Salman has been behind the killing of thousands of people, including the people of Yemen.

During the visit, the crown prince will hold talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and President Arif Alvi, according to Pakistan’s foreign office.

The prince, who will be accompanied by a delegation of businessmen, is expected to sign investment agreements worth billions of dollars with cash-strapped Islamabad.

Bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan was postponed amid widespread protests against him as well as heightened tensions in the region.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said that a two-day visit by the crown prince to Islamabad that was scheduled for Saturday had been postponed.

The ministry said bin Salman will arrive in Islamabad on Sunday, but had no further explanation over the postponement.

He will also travel to neighboring India, which is engaged in renewed tensions with Pakistan over a deadly car bomb attack in Kashmir, claimed by Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

The last time a Saudi royal paid a visit to Pakistan was 2006, when then Saudi ruler King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz travelled to the nuclear-armed nation.

Authorities heightened measures across the capital Islamabad with Prime Minister Imran Khan saying he was personally taking care of the arrangements.

Bin Salman’s tour to the region comes at the time of increasing pressure against the kingdom over the humanitarian crisis, which is caused by Saudi’s four-year war on Yemen and the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate last year in Istanbul, Turkey.

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