Pakistan seeks $6 bn aid from Saudi Arabia in return for land

June 7th, 2008 - 12:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, June 7 (IANS) Pakistan will seek $6 billion aid from Saudi Arabia during Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s visit, in return offering land for growing and exporting wheat. Gilani arrived in Medina Friday and will be joined Sunday by Asif Ali Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) that leads the country’s ruling coalition.

“The package being envisaged includes free oil and lavish provision of wheat supplies by Saudi Arabia, now said to have abundant food supplies,” The News said Saturday.

In return, Pakistan would offer “hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land, which could be tilled by the Saudis and the product could be taken away for consumption in the kingdom”, it added.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmud Qureshi, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, Water and Power Minister Pervez Ashraf and Agriculture Minister Nazar Gondal are accompanying the prime minister.

The Saudis would also be asked to set up fertiliser plants in Pakistan to boost food production.

Speaking to reporters on the flight to Saudi Arabia, Gilani hoped his talks, to be held in Jeddah Sunday, would be fruitful.

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