Imran, Shehbaz pray for early recovery of King Salman
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday expressed his concern over the news that Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, had been hospitalised.
“The government and the people of Pakistan, and I myself, join our Saudi brethren in prayers for His Majesty's swift recovery, good health and long life,” he added in his tweet.
Heard with concern about hospitalisation of His Majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The government and people of Pakistan, and I myself, join our Saudi brethren in prayers for His Majesty's swift recovery, good health and long life. Ameen.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 20, 2020
Earlier in the day, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif too had prayed for his pray for his speedy recovery and complete health.
Deeply concerned about the health of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz. The people and the leadership of Saudi Arabia have special place in our hearts. I pray for his speedy recovery and complete health!— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) July 20, 2020
The best wishes by both the prime minister and the opposition leader came as the royal court said Saudi Arabia's 84-year-old ruler had been admitted to hospital in the capital Riyadh for gall bladder inflammation.
It is rare for Saudi Arabia to report on the health of the ageing monarch, who has ruled the top oil exporter and the Arab world's biggest economy since 2015.
The king was "admitted today to King Faisal specialist hospital in Riyadh for some medical tests due to cholecystitis," inflammation of the gall bladder, the royal court said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.
It did not disclose any further details. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's scheduled visit to Saudi Arabia, which was due to start on Monday, has been postponed after the king's hospitalisation, according to the kingdom's foreign minister.
"In recognition of the extremely important visit and a desire to make it a success, our wise leadership in coordination with our brothers in Iraq have decided to postpone the visit," Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan wrote on Twitter.
Under the king's rule, Saudi Arabia launched ambitious economic reforms for a post-oil era and gave more rights to women, but also adopted a more assertive foreign policy and entered a war in neighbouring Yemen.
King Salman took the throne after the death of his half-brother Abdullah, who was around 90 years old. In 2017, Saudi Arabia denied media reports that the king was planning to abdicate in favour of his son, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is widely seen as the de facto ruler.
Prince Mohammed's meteoric rise to power has coincided with a sweeping crackdown on critics and dissenters, as well as royal family members.