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Pakistan wishes to constructively and positively engage with the US: PM Office

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  • Pakistan looks forward to deepening its important relationship with US.
  • “We welcome US reaffirmation of long-standing ties with Pakistan,” PM’s Office says.
  • White House had said democratic Pakistan was critical to interests of US.

ISLAMABAD: The new government wishes to constructively and positively engage with the US to promote shared goals of peace, security, and development in the region, the Prime Minister’s Office said Tuesday.

“We welcome US reaffirmation of long-standing ties with Pakistan,” the PM’s Office said in response to comments made by the White House on the assumption of office by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The statement added that Pakistan looks forward to deepening its “important relationship” with the United States based on the principles of equality, mutual interest, and mutual benefit.

PM Shehbaz was sworn in as the prime minister on April 11, following the successful ouster of PTI Chairman Imran Khan through a no-confidence motion — making him the first premier to be ousted through the democratic process.

The response follows White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s statement, wherein, she said a democratic Pakistan is critical to the interests of the United States.

In a press briefing at the White House, Psaki said: “We support the peaceful upholding of constitutional democratic principles, we don’t support one political party over another.”

The White House press secretary said the United States “certainly” supports the principles of rule of law and equal justice under the law.

Psaki added that the US values its long-standing cooperation with Pakistan and has always viewed a prosperous and democratic Pakistan as critical to US interests — that remains unchanged regardless of who the leadership is.

In response to a question about whether Biden would call Shehbaz, Psaki said: “In terms of future calls, I don’t have anything to predict at this point and time, obviously, we stay in close touch with them at a range of levels.”

Since Biden assumed the US president’s office in 2021, Imran Khan and Biden did not hold a telephonic conversation.

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Punjabi bakers decide to charge Rs. 15 for “roti.”

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The bread, known as roti, will be sold for Rs 15 by the bakers association.

During their discussion, the association promised Food Minister Bilal Yasin that the rate of roti will be reduced.

The minister was there when Association President Aftab Gul recorded a video message committing to sell rotis for Rs15 each.

According to him, the administration decided to lower the rate of flour. He continued, saying that the group was supporting the government hand in hand to stop inflation.

The price of flour has been drastically lowered, according to Food Minister Bilal, to help the populace. He stated, “the government aimed at providing quality and affordable bread to the masses.”

He said that the recent reduction of Rs 1,200 in the price of flour was the biggest drop in the commodity’s prices in the nation’s history.

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Day four of the AJK inflation protest begins as talks come to a standstill.

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Following the collapse of talks between the Awami Action Committee and the AJK government on Sunday, the shutdown strike and protests in Azad Kashmir over rising flour and energy costs started their fourth day on Monday.

The ongoing shutdown and wheeljam strike would continue until their demands are fulfilled, according to the Awami Action Committee.

AAC-led march on state capital Muzaffarabad today has brought the valley to a near stop. The caravans are coming from many AJK cities, and they are headed towards Rawalakot. The march is being caused by the impasse in the negotiations.

Reportedly, the demonstrators have blocked the 40-kilometer Kohala–Muzaffarabad Road, which connects Kohala Town and Muzaffarabad, multiple times.

Traffic on main thoroughfares and roads has decreased, and large police contingents have been stationed at strategic points and roundabouts.

After fighting broke out between the police and demonstrators in Mirpur on Saturday, which left one policeman dead and numerous others injured, the AJK government dispatched Rangers.

Everything is completely suspended, including internet and cellular services, business, and education.

Under the pretext of talks, Awami Action Committee leader Sardar Umar Nazir Kashmiri has charged that the administration is using deceptive methods.

Apart from the flour subsidy, he continues, the administration will not budge on any other demand.

CONVENE MEETINGS, PRESIDENT, PM

All parties involved have been asked by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Zardari to use moderation and engage in discussions to find a solution. According to both, the demonstrators in Azad Kashmir should have their legitimate demands met.

The issue in AJK will be the topic of a significant meeting that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is calling today, Monday.

The skirmishes between the demonstrators and the AJK police caused anxiety for the premier on Sunday.

Speaking with Chaudhry Anwarul Haq, the prime minister of AJK, he said he also gave the office-bearers of the All-Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in AJK instructions to speak with the leaders of the Awami Action Committee.

Olive Branch is offered by AJK PM.

Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Chaudhry Anwarul Haq stated on Sunday that his administration was ready to lessen the burden of exorbitant grain and energy costs.

Regarding Saturday’s meetings with the demonstrators, Prime Minister Haq declared, “We are determined to implement the agreement we have reached with the Awami Action Committee.”

Politicians, according to Haq, have found solutions to issues through discussion and “we are ready to talk with the Awami Action Committee at any level and the demands related to the government of Pakistan will be raised before the federation.”

In order to ease the burden of rising flour and power prices, he also expressed a willingness to modify the development budget if needed.

The AJK prime minister stated that his government’s first priority was ensuring public safety, and he further stated that no force was applied to the demonstrators.

Sub-inspector Adnan Qureshi was killed in a confrontation with demonstrators in Mirpur, and hundreds of people attended his funeral on Monday.

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Today’s National Assembly session is scheduled.

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The National Assembly (NA) will meet today (Monday) at the invitation of President Asif Ali Zardari.

At 4:00 p.m., the National Assembly will convene in the federal capital at Parliament House. The meeting’s agenda has been released by the assembly secretariat.

As per Article 54(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President has the authority to call a session of the National Assembly.

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