Sharif to leave for London as Nawaz summons emergency meeting

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The insiders further said the ruling party is expected to make some “big decisions” regarding the fate of the coalition government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)….reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will leave for London on Tuesday night along with senior PML-N leaders to meet party supremo Nawaz Sharif in the wake of heightened political uncertainty in the country, media reports said.

According to insiders, Nawaz has summoned an “emergency meeting” of the party leaders to discuss matters related to the economy and the prevailing political situation in Pakistan, Express Tribune reported.

The insiders further said the ruling party is expected to make some “big decisions” regarding the fate of the coalition government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb later confirmed the development while addressing a press conference held in Islamabad to brief the media of the decisions taken during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other PML-N members are going on a private visit to London to meet Nawaz Sharif,” she said in an apparent bid to downplay the matter, as she added that such consultations within the party are not unusual.

Senior PML-N leader and former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had recently suggested that fair and transparent general elections should be held as soon as possible.

“Some people want the government to complete its tenure, but Nawaz Sharif is of the view that free and fair elections should be held as soon as possible,” Dar had said during an interview with a local broadcaster, Express Tribune reported.

The sources said given the importance of the matter, Nawaz Sharif has refused to hold virtual meetings and asked the party leaders to visit London.

PML-N Vice-President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is already in the British capital and has reportedly confirmed the development.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Zardari seeks deeper ties with China

Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has sought to further strengthen Pakistans “all weather strategic partnership” with China, including through the “rapid implementation” of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of Chinese President Xi Jinping, media reports said.

A statement issued by the Foreign Office said that Zardari reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to further strengthen its strategic partnership with China, including through the rapid implementation of the CPEC.

“Pakistan will continue its efforts to enhance cooperation with China through CPEC, to advance its national implementation of SDGs, in addition to participating actively in the work of the GDI Group of Friends to promote the common aspiration of a peaceful, prosperous and shared future for all mankind,” the statement quoted the Foreign Minister as saying, Express Tribune reported.

In his video address, Zardari appreciated China’s initiative to launch GDI and termed it a useful platform to accelerate and coordinate efforts for implementing the globally-agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Apart from chairing the introductory meeting at the Foreign Office, PPP Chairman Zardari also addressed the high-level meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI), held in virtual format in New York.

President Xi Jinping had put forward the GDI during his address to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2021.

In January this year, China launched a Group of Friends of GDI in New York, which was joined by Pakistan and more than 50 other countries, as an informal cooperation and coordination mechanism for strengthening policy dialogue, sharing best practices, and promoting practical cooperation on realising the SDGs to advance the objectives of GDI.

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