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PM Shehbaz leaves for UAE after concluding three-day visit to Saudi Arabia

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  • PM Shehbaz will leave for UAE today from Saudi Arabia.
  • PM to meet Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
  • PM meets OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha.

After completing his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is heading to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a statement from the premier’s office said on Saturday. 

During his visit to the UAE, the prime minister will meet Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

During the meeting, both sides will discuss “matters of mutual interest, including bilateral relations of the countries”. 

Govt to promote interests of Muslim ummah: PM 

Before leaving for UAE, PM Shehbaz had met Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha in Makkah. 

In his meeting, PM Shehbaz affirmed his government’s commitment to promoting the interests of the Muslim ummah as a cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. 

“Pakistan, as the current chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, was looking forward to playing a proactive role with regard to the matters of interest and concern to the OIC member states,” the premier maintained. 

Thanking the secretary-general for OIC’s consistent and unequivocal support of the Kashmir cause, he urged the organisation to lead the diplomatic endeavours towards facilitating a peaceful and lasting solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Prime Minister Shehbaz invited the OIC to launch a concerted effort to stop the ongoing Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque and other occupied Palestinian territories. He stressed that Israel must not be allowed to divide the blessed mosque, temporally and spatially, between the people of a different faith.

The PM also underscored the need for the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. 

He emphasised that the OIC should step up its efforts to counter growing Islamophobia at the international level.

The premier invited the secretary-general to pay a visit to Pakistan, to which he accepted the invitation. 

Reiterating his felicitations to the PM on assuming office, secretary-general Hissein also highlighted the important role that Pakistan has always played in the OIC as a founding member.

He also reaffirmed the OIC’s support for a just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and expressed to resolve to work closely with Pakistan on key issues of concern to the Muslim ummah, especially Palestine, Afghanistan and Islamophobia.

PM Shehbaz Sharif meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman

A day earlier, PM Shehbaz had met Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in Jeddah.

During the meeting, both the leaders discussed bilateral ties, including matters related to expanding business and trade.

Upon arrival at the Al-Salam Palace, Prime Minister Shehbaz was cordially welcomed by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, a guard of honour was also presented to the visiting dignitary.

According to the PM Office, matters related to strengthening bilateral and trade ties including cooperation in various fields were discussed in the meeting.

“PM Shehbaz Sharif met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The matters relating to expanding trade & business ties, increasing investment, & creating opportunities for Pakistan’s manpower came under discussion during the meeting,” said in a statement issued by PM’s office. 

Later, on his personal Twitter account, PM Shehbaz said that he had a “great meeting” with the Saudi crown prince. 

“We reaffirmed our commitment to taking Pakistan-Saudi ties to a new and higher level. I admired his visionary leadership and thanked him for according us a warm welcome and for always standing with Pakistan,” said PM Shehbaz.

He also said that the two leader discussed “ways and means” to further strengthen the bilateral relationship in all areas.

This was PM Shehbaz’s first foreign trip after assuming office earlier this month.

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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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