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Pakistan, UAE vow to bolster ‘strategic partnership’ in joint statement

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  • PM Shehbaz holds meetings with UAE leadership.
  • Discussions focused on strengthening bilateral relationships.
  • UAE announces $3 billion economic relief for Pakistan.

Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed on the need to intensify the “strategic partnership and cooperation” between the two countries during a bilateral meeting, a joint statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO) said Friday. 

The statement was issued at the conclusion of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s two-day official visit to the Gulf country during which he met UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and held detailed discussions on concrete measures to strengthen the bilateral relationship. 

On Thursday, the UAE also provided a $3 billion lifeline to Pakistan to help the country amid depleting forex reserves.

During the meeting, the two sides — with a view to developing tangible and meaningful bilateral cooperation in key areas — agreed to intensify consultation and coordination to bolster strategic partnership and cooperation, particularly in the field of information and communication technologies and work together for bridging the digital divide.

The two leaders, the statement added, also exchanged views on regional political and security matters. 

“They also discussed a specific initiative to enhance cooperation in political, defence, economic, commercial and cultural areas, developing joint ventures, and strengthening collaboration in the human resource sector,” it said. 

The prime minister thanked the UAE president for generous assistance during the recent floods in Pakistan, particularly through an air bridge established for this purpose.

During PM Shehbaz’s interaction with the UAE leadership, both countries reaffirmed their historical and brotherly ties, rooted in shared religion, culture, values, and pursuit of regional and global peace and security. They also expressed satisfaction at the convergence of views on a host of regional and global issues.

Based on their decades-old fraternal ties, both countries expressed solidarity with each other in efforts to preserve their sovereignty and territorial integrity, read the statement. 

Moreover, the two sides signed Memoranda of Understanding in the field of combating human trafficking, information exchange, and between the diplomatic academies of both countries.

Accepting PM Shehbaz‘s invitation to Pakistan, President Nahyan agreed to visit Pakistan at a later date.

This was the prime minister’s third visit to the UAE after assuming office. He is also accompanied by a high-level delegation, including key members of the cabinet. 

Loan to Pakistan

A day earlier, the UAE president agreed to roll over the existing loan of $2 billion and provide an additional $1 billion loan to Pakistan. 

The much-needed relief was critical for cash-strapped Pakistan’s distressed economy as the ninth review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme to clear the release of the next $1.1 billion tranche of funds has been pending since September.

Pakistan faces a severe economic crisis, with its central bank foreign exchange reserves falling to a critical level of below $5 billion, which is barely enough for three weeks of imports.

Elections

After a recount, PML-N keeps its seat in the Balochistan Assembly.

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The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was able to hold onto a seat in the Balochistan Assembly following a vote recount.

With a margin of 1919 votes, Muhammad Khan Lehri of the PML-N defeated Ghulam Rasool Imrani of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to win PB-14 Nasirabad.

The Returning Officer (RO) reports that Ghulam Rasool Imrani of the PPP received 18787 votes, while Muhammad Khan Lehri received 20706 votes.

The PPP candidate contested the results, which prompted a vote recount request. Prior to this, on February 19, the PML-N narrowly prevailed in a vote recount to hold onto a seat in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly by 186 votes.

Sardar Shah Jahan of the PML-N defeated independent Shakoor Naumani, who was sponsored by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in PK-40 Mansehra. The Returning Officer (RO), acting on a request from the independent candidate supported by the PTI, ordered the recounting of results for 173 polling stations. Sardar Shah Jehan received 43104 votes, and Shakoor Naumani, who was endorsed by the PTI, received 42918.

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Latest News

Rahat Faeth Ali Khan receives a clean sheet from FIA

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According to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), there is no proof that well-known musician Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has engaged in any illicit behaviour, including money laundering or tax evasion.

Since there is no proof of any wrongdoing, the FIA has declared that it has completed its investigation into the popular singer’s alleged money-laundering and tax evasion case.

According to the recommendations made by the field inquiry unit, which suggested closing the investigation into Khan, the competent authority has approved the closure of the investigation into Rahat Ali Khan and other individuals, as confirmed by the Additional Director of the Federal Investigation Agency’s Lahore Zone.

The data that are now accessible include no information that would link Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to any illicit money smuggling operations.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Lahore has said that an investigation was opened in January of this year against Rahat Ali Khan and 182 other regular passengers who were leaving Lahore International Airport to find employment overseas. According to the report, information on frequent passengers served as the impetus for this inquiry, which had as its primary goal finding anybody engaged in money laundering or currency smuggling.

It is important to note that, based on their travel history, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) opened a money laundering and tax evasion investigation against well-known musician Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and others.

According to the FIA, the Deputy Director of Immigration at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore supplied the information on 182 travellers. As a result, the investigation was started to find any regular travellers involved in cash smuggling or money laundering.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has paid taxes on all of his local and foreign income, according to sources at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Federal Institute of Agriculture (FIA).

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Law

A challenge to the Aurat March was dismissed by the Lahore High Court.

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The Lahore High Court rendered a decision on the appeal filed by citizen Azam butt about the prohibition on the Aurat March.

Deputy Commissioner Lahore and other parties were added as parties to the application.

The petitioner voiced worry that the peace and order situation would get worse as a result of the women’s march. According to the petitioner, Islamic society does not tolerate the banners and placards from the Aurat March.

The petitioner claims that the Constitution protects women’s rights and that initiatives are taken to enhance the welfare of women. The state must stop promoting the Aurat March in an immoral manner.

The court postponed making a ruling after rejecting the petition as inadmissible after hearing the opening statements. The ultimate ruling was rendered by Justice Shahid Karim.

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