ISLAMABAD - Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan Nawaf bin Said al-Malki on Thursday said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are enjoying healthy ties from the last several decades and with the passage of time the bilateral relationships are growing deeper and stronger between both the countries.

He was addressing the contract signing ceremony of supply and installation of medical lab and equipment for King Abdullah Campus of the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Muzafarabad and King Abdullah Teaching Hospital Mansehra Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), which was organised by Saudi Fund Development.

The ambassador stressed that Saudi Arabia was giving great importance to its relationships with Pakistan and its people and would spare no effort in supporting and offering assistance to Pakistan.  Al-Maliki said, “The Saudi government had already announced 50 scholarships for Pakistani students to study in Saudi universities.”

The ambassador noted that the Saudi government would bear all the expenses related to studies and accommodation of the Pakistani students and added that the number of scholarships for Pakistani students would be doubled the next year. Addressing to the participants at contract signing ceremony Vice Chancellor of the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Professor Dr Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi expressed that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were enjoying very strong relationships and both nations were very close to each other due to the Islamic culture. He said, “This is really a big day for us and on this occasion I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia especially the Saudi Fund for Development for generous funding for the Construction of King Abdullah Campus at Chatter Klass campus and for this project as well.”

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extended all out support to Pakistan in every testing time thus its role was recorded in our history and the reconstruction of the university would also remain etched in our memories, he added.  The VC underlined that during devastating earthquake of October 2005, the university lost 217 precious human lives including students, faculty and staff as the complete infrastructure was destroyed. Soon after the completion of rescue and relief operation the university administration decided to migrate to Islamabad, temporarily, in order to save precious academic year of the students, he informed.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are enjoying healthy ties from the last several decades, says Nawaf bin Said al-Malki

“It was the biggest migration for the sake of education. The universities of Islamabad particularly Quaid-i-Azam University, AIOU, Arid Agriculture University, Bahria University, Riphah University and Federal Directorate of Education provided us labs and classroom facilities. We acknowledge their all-out support in resumption of classes and academic activities.”

Kaleem Abbasi said that the construction of the most modern King Abdullah Campus at Chattar Klass was completed at a total cost of Rs 6.711 billion and handed over to the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on September 30th, 2019.

“This new campus will bear more than 7,000 students of 14 academic departments and institutes. Additionally, there are six student hostels, administrative block, auditorium, mosque, Hi-tech. Lab, shopping Mall etc. This will not only help us to expand our academic ventures, but also conducive atmosphere in the university.”

Health Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Nisar Ansar Abdali said the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir were particularly indebted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their generous humanitarian assistance after the devastating earthquake of 2005.  The minister said, “We can never forget the Saudi government for this visionary decision to construct the King Abdullah Campus of the University of AJK at a cost of over Rs 10 billion and is now further providing over Rs3.5 billion for the provision of essential equipment for the same campus.”

“I am fully aware that the King Abdullah Campus of University of AJK is modern educational facility but it was incomplete without necessary facilities like science laboratories, computer labs and other education related modern technologies,” he added.