• Arrives in Islamabad after visit to UK, UAE
• Unanimous decision to be shared with nation
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will soon hold a consultative session with government allies and take them into confidence about the decisions taken during his meeting with PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in London.
Prime Minister Sharif reached the federal capital at 9:30pm on Sunday after his visit to the United Kingdom as well as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he offered his condolences on the demise of the country’s president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
According to PML-N sources, the prime minister will apprise the allied parties of the decisions taken in the meeting in London and then unanimously decide on the future line of action. He will then address the nation.
According to media reports, the prime minister will have to choose one of the two options — announce the date for the next general elections to dilute Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) aggressive stance or refuse to give up and strive to control the unprecedented economic crisis.
Meanwhile, speaking at a public gathering in Faisalabad on Sunday, PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan said he would announce the date of the long march to Islamabad on May 20, adding that a ‘tsunami’ of people would reach the capital and would not return until a date for the next general elections was given.
On the other hand, the government said it had inherited an economic crisis that had taken the country to the verge of bankruptcy.
PM Shehbaz Sharif had left on a private visit to the UK along with some federal cabinet members on May 10 apparently to seek ‘guidance’ from Nawaz Sharif on how to handle the fragile political situation in the country and the prevailing economic crunch.
He spent five days in London and, while heading back to Pakistan, made a stopover in the UAE to condole the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who had passed away on May 13.
According to Prime Minister Office, during his meeting with the new UAE President Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, PM Sharif expressed his deepest condolences on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan. The members of the royal family were also present during the meeting.
He said the Pakistani nation fully shared the grief and sorrow of their Emirati brethren and stood by them in this difficult time.
The PM lauded Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s invaluable contributions to strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, saying that the UAE transformed into a major economic powerhouse under the dynamic leadership of Sheikh Khalifa.
He affirmed that the monumental legacy of the late leader would continue to inspire generations of Emiratis. Mr Sharif also conveyed his best wishes to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan upon assuming responsibilities as the new president of the UAE.
He expressed the confidence that he would take the UAE to new heights of development and progress in the years to come.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also conveyed his sincere gratitude to the prime minister, the leadership and people of Pakistan for their solidarity during the hour of grief.
The two leaders affirmed their shared commitment to further deepen ties between the two countries in all dimensions.
Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2022