Mumbai attacks: Saudi intelligence chief in Pakistan (Lead)

January 13th, 2009 - 4:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Nawaz SharifIslamabad, Jan 13 (IANS) Saudi intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz arrived here Tuesday for talks on the situation in the region in the wake of the Mumbai terror carnage and on Pakistan’ political situation, a senior official said.The official said that Muqrin, who is considered to be a powerful man in the Saudi kingdom and is a close confidant of King Abdullah, will be meeting President Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the situation after the Mumbai attacks.

However, a leading politician said that the focus of his visit is “stabilization” of Pakistan’s politics.

“He would be meeting Zardari and (former prime minister) Nawaz Sharif to bring both the parties closer,” said an official.

Muqrin had played an important role in Sharif’s exile to Saudi Arabia when former military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf seized power in 1999 and again when Sharif attempted to return to Pakistan in September 2007.

Officials said that Muqrin has been specially invited by Zardari to discuss the relationship with India and a possible rapprochement with Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Sharif pulled out from the coalition government led by Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) after differences over the restoration of the Supreme Court judges who were sacked by Musharraf.

Muqrin will also attend a reception hosted by Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Ali Awadh Al-Asseri in his honour. Key political leaders would also attend the reception.

Muqrin had visited Pakistan last August ostensibly to broker a deal between Musharraf and the government that was threatening to impeach the former president. Musharraf had subsequently stepped down.

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