Saudi king visits Indonesia with 1000-person entourage, tonnes of gear

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Cheering crowds welcomed King Salman Wednesday as he began the first visit by a Saudi monarch to Indonesia for almost 50 years, seeking stronger economic ties with the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

The king — who is accompanied by about 1,000 people, including princes and ministers — disembarked from his plane using an escalator as he arrived at an airport in Jakarta, the latest stop on an Asian tour.

The 81-year-old was greeted by President Joko Widodo and Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian who is standing trial for blasphemy.

Crowds of flag-waving schoolchildren lined the route as a convoy of vehicles carrying the king and his entourage sped through pouring rain to a presidential palace in the nearby city of Bogor, where a marching band played the Indonesian national anthem.

Salman was due to hold talks with Widodo at the palace, where statues of naked figures had been covered up before the arrival of the head of the Muslim kingdom.

Almost 460 tons of equipment have been flown in for the visit, including Mercedes limousines, with most transported to the Hindu resort island of Bali, where Salman will go on holiday after visiting Jakarta.

The visit — the first by a Saudi Arabian king to Indonesia for 47 years — is one of the highlights of a rare Saudi royal tour of Asia which is seeking investment as the world’s biggest oil exporter tries to diversify its economy.

“This is an extremely historic visit for us,” Indonesian Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung was quoted as saying in local media before the visit.

The king is due to give a speech to parliament on Thursday and visit Southeast Asia’s biggest mosque during his three-day visit to Jakarta.

Business deals could be announced, and a series of cooperation memoranda are also set to be signed on issues ranging from security, to health and education.

Indonesia will also seek approval to send more citizens to the annual hajj pilgrimage in western Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam’s holiest sites.

The monarch and his entourage will reportedly stay in five luxury hotels in Bali for several days following the visit to Jakarta.

As part of the elaborate preparations for the visit, 150 chefs have been hired to cook food for the king and his party and a special VIP toilet has been built at the Jakarta mosque, according to local media.

Salman kicked off his three-week Asian tour in Malaysia earlier this week, and is also set to visit Japan, China and the Maldives.

HumSub TV is Pakistan’s leading forwarding-thinking, edutainment channel, aimed at promoting and upholding peace, interfaith harmony and social responsibility within Pakistan through informative and insightful programmes and documentaries; analytical interviews on issues pertaining to social, economic, legal and environmental set-up; dedicated shows to canvass and thereby promote the culture and heritage of Pakistan and in-depth coverage of national and international news.

HumSub TV is the first channel and thus a pioneer within its own right that mainly focuses on emphasising the “Rights” as well as the “Obligations” of the citizens in light of the Constitution of Pakistan, numerous International declarations signed by the Government and various laws that have been promulgated over the years but are not in the knowledge of the common citizen.

HumSub TV also aims to enter into bilateral agreements with other countries to promote not only their culture, heritage and tourism, but also their educational and medical facilities.

Following the successful launch of HumSub TV’s head office in Blue Area, Islamabad; the bureau office has been set up in Lahore.

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HumSub TV, Pakistan’s first EDUTAINMENT Channel, has been set up for not only those audience residing in Pakistan or overseas but the international community on the whole. The vision of the channel is to project positive image building of Pakistan and inculcate nationalism as per the vision of the founder of the nation.

HumSub TV strives to make a positive contribution to this end by promoting pluralism, inclusiveness and egality in Pakistan and give voice to the suppressed. It endeavors to act as a positive catalyst for social change and Pakistani nationalism.  It envisions providing a platform for airing critical and lateral thinking and collective wisdom by inviting positive minded intellectuals and opinion forming individuals for the promotion of interfaith harmony and peace in the social, political and economic development of Pakistan.

Whereas the channel airs upbeat edutainment programmes, it, nonetheless, has the primary objective of countering negative anti-Pakistan regional and international propaganda as well as advancing fundamental rights as encapsulated in the Constitution of Pakistan.

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