PM consults Zardari on fragile political situation; greets UAE president

Published January 26, 2023
The meeting between the two leaders was also attended by Ishaq Dar, Ayaz Sadiq and other cabinet members.—INP
The meeting between the two leaders was also attended by Ishaq Dar, Ayaz Sadiq and other cabinet members.—INP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday met Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership as well as the newly appointed caretaker chief minister of Punjab Mohsin Naqvi and discussed current political and fragile economic situation in the country.

Separately, the PM also received the ruler of UAE upon his arrival on a private visit to Pakistan.

The prime minister first met former president Asif Zardari and according to the Prime Minister Office (PMO) the two leaders discussed the overall situation in the country.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Aviation Saad Rafiq, Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and PPP leaders Saleem Mandviwala and Dr Asim Hussain attended the meeting.

A source in the PPP said the meeting focused on current political situation, economy and elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The source said it has yet to be decided whether parties in the ruling alliance — Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — will contest elections in the two provinces, which according to the Constitution, will have to be held within three months after dissolution of assemblies.

Punjab Assembly was dissolved on Jan 14, followed by the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Jan 18 on the direction of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in an attempt by the party to pressurise the ruling coalition in the centre to hold early election.

During his visit to the Punjab capital, PM Sharif also met one-on-one with the newly appointed caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi and urged him to maintain law and order and keep prices of essential items stable in the market.

The recent postings and transfers in Punjab after the caretaker chief minister assumed charge of his office also came under discussion.

Earlier, the prime minister along with Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, caretaker Punjab CM Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Syed Tariq Fatemi received United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his arrival at Chandna Airport in Rahim Yar Khan.

During their interaction, the prime minister recalled his recent visit to the UAE and emphasised that both countries would work on the understandings reached between the two leaders during that visit.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who arrived in Pakistan on a private visit, said the brotherly relations between the two countries went back many decades and his father, who had immense love for Pakistan and its people, laid the foundation of their bilateral ties.

The UAE president said that he considered Pakistan as his second home and assured the premier that the UAE would always stand by the country.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2023

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