A public holiday and gold-plated gun: Saudi crown prince feted on Asia tour

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Mohammed bin Salman courted by Imran Khan in Pakistan as part of what analysts call a Gulf pivot towards Asia

Mohammad bin Salman has been welcomed with a fighter jet escort, a gold-plated submachine gun and Pakistan’s highest civilian honour on the lavish first leg of an Asian tour aimed at rehabilitating the image of the Saudi Arabian crown prince five months after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

After being personally chauffeured from the airport by the country’s prime minister, Imran Khan, bin Salman signed agreements worth $20bn on Monday, a crucial injection of funds for an ailing economy suffering a foreign-currency crunch and which is currently negotiating its 13th IMF bailout in 40 years.

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