Saudi Arabia to pursue nuclear program

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Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan on Monday informed Senate that Pakistani troops sent to Saudi Arabia are only in the Kingdom for imparting training to Saudi security personnel, ARY News reported.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir announced that Riyadh plans to build a string of nuclear energy power plants so that the kingdom can generate additional revenue by exporting its massive oil reserves instead of burning them for electricity. He said that the contingent will have strength of over one thousand troops of all ranks and will be dispatched shortly.

During his briefing today, the defence minister said that Pakistan shares long-lasting and strong terms with Saudi Arabia and that at least 1,600 personnel are now deployed in Arabia.

He said training of Saudi forces is governed by 1982 bilateral protocol regarding the deputation of Pakistan's Armed Forces' personnel.

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Responding to the briefing, the chairman complained that the briefing was incomplete.

"The parliament found out (about the deployment) through a press release", Rabbani said, adding that the executive has itself "rubbed parliament's nose in the dirt". Saudi Arabia is scheduled to select a contractor by the end of 2018.

Saudi Arabia has been pushing fellow Sunni-majority Pakistan to provide troops since 2015 when it joined Yemen s civil war but Pakistan steadily refused, saying it would not become party to any regional conflict.

Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa earlier this month visited Saudi Arabia for three days and met officials including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Commander of Ground Forces Lt Gen Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz.

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