ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has been invited to attend a Global Peace Summit being held on Russia-Ukraine war in Switzerland from June 15.

According to Ukrainian Ambassador to Pakistan Markiian Chuchuk, Switzerland, with the consent of Ukraine, has sent an invitation to Prime Minister Sharif to take part in the upcoming peace summit.

A source in the Foreign Office confirmed that the prime minister has received the invitation from the Swiss government for the peace summit.

The summit will be built on the discussions that have taken place over the past months in the format of the national security advisers’ meetings based on Ukraine’s Peace Formula of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Copenhagen, Jeddah, Malta and Davos, the Ukraine ambassador said in a statement.

Tribute paid to services rendered by UN peacekeeping missions in different parts of the world

When contacted, a source in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) told Dawn that the prime minister was not expected to attend the event because of his other engagements and forthcoming federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25.

“The PM is going to China on June 4 to attend the formal launching of the CPEC-II phase and he will return to the country on June 8 and the federal budget is expected to be announced on June 11 or 12, which will make it difficult for the prime minister to leave the country when debate on the budget will start in parliament,” the source said.

As the Russia-Ukraine war has entered the third year, the Global Peace Summit is being held with the purpose of seeking the ways to a just and lasting peace in the region.

“The summit is aimed to provide a platform for sharing various visions of the peace process as well as to give a political start to the work on joint peace framework,” the statement said.

The summit is set to became the first in a series of peace conferences with the goal to end hostilities, overcome confrontation, establish dialogue and resolve humanitarian, political and economic controversies of the war, the statement said.

UN peacekeeping missions

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday paid tribute to services rendered by UN peacekeeping missions in different parts of the world, adding that these missions have been critical in establishing and maintaining peace and protecting civilians in conflict zones of the world.

In a message on the occasion of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers which was observed on May 29, the prime minister paid homage to the services and sacrifices rendered by UN peacekeepers around the world.

The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers is observed around the world on May 29 to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world.

“While we pay homage to all the peacekeepers around the globe, we owe special gratitude to Pakistani peacekeepers whose services to the global peace and security have been acknowledged by all and sundry,” PM Sharif said.

Buddhist heritage

In a separate development, a delegation of Buddhist leaders met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday.

Talking to members of the delegation, the prime minister said that Pakistan was proud of its ancient Buddhist heritage, which flourished in the northwest of the country in the shape of Gandhara art and culture over two thousand years ago.

The delegation is visiting Pakistan to attend a symposium and an exhibition titled, “From Gandhara to the World,” organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

The prime minister expressed his gratitude for participation of the members of the delegation in the symposium being held in connection with the ‘Vesak Day’ that commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha.

The delegation included Sri Lanka’s Minister for Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Vidura Wikramanayaka, Most Venerable Thich Duc Tuan from Vietnam, Most Venerable Anil Sakya from Thailand and Dr Keshabman Shakya from Nepal.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2024

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