Muqrin, Hariri urge Nawaz to honour agreement:
Nawaz can again be a Saudi guest: Prince
* Saudis, Hariri say Nawaz exile was meant to ensure stability in Pakistan
* Nawaz’s return won’t affect ties with Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: A Saudi prince said on Saturday that Nawaz Sharif would be welcome to return to Saudi Arabia, as the Saudi government and an influential Lebanese politician urged the former prime minister to honour his agreement to remain in exile for 10 years.
Saudi intelligence chief Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz and Lebanese politician Saad Hariri arrived separately in Islamabad on Saturday morning, the former with a message from Saudi King Abdullah and the latter after a meeting with Nawaz Sharif in London.
After meeting President General Pervez Musharraf for two-and-a-half hours, Prince Muqrin and Hariri addressed an unprecedented joint press conference at Army House, telling journalists that Nawaz was bound under the agreement not to return to Pakistan before ten years in exile. “We sincerely hope that Nawaz Sharif honours this agreement,” Prince Muqrin said.
He indicated that Sharif would be welcomed back to Saudi Arabia. “Saudi Arabia is for all our brothers and sisters from all over the Muslim world,” he said.
“We are hopeful that the signatory will adhere to that agreement and stick to it. The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques helped Mr Sharif and his family to get out of imprisonment under such an agreement ... which was aimed at ensuring the stability of Pakistan,” the prince said.
Saudi King Abdullah “hopes for the sake of the national interest of Pakistan that all parties concerned with the agreement will honour and adhere to the terms”, Prince Muqrin said. The king considered “the stability and security of Pakistan as the stability and security of Saudi Arabia”.
Reminded that the former prime minister had been allowed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to return, the prince said: “We fully respect the Supreme Court, the law of the land, but we still have an agreement and we are hoping that this agreement is adhered to.”
Saad Hariri said he helped broker the agreement under which Nawaz was released from prison and allowed to go into exile. He said he made regular contacts with Nawaz Sharif to ensure that the agreement was continuing and binding “because this was an understanding and it was a promise made to the Custodian of two Holy Mosques”.
About the consequences if Nawaz violated the agreement, Prince Muqrin said: “He (Nawaz Sharif) knows it, President Musharraf knows it and most of the people of Pakistan know it.”
Asked about the details of the agreement, Prince Muqrin waved a copy of the agreement to the media and said: “It is here and signed.”
Asked if Nawaz’s return would affect Saudi-Pak ties, he said: “Saudi Arabia has always considered Pakistan a brotherly country and these little things do not affect relations.”