PM Abbasi arrives in London fully satisfied with UN visit; to meet Nawaz

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LONDON: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived in London from New York after his participation at the United Nations General Assembly, where he highlighted Pakistan’s vital role and strong stance against terrorism in his meetings with world leaders.

PM Abbasi will meet former premier Nawaz Sharif in London, where the top leadership of PML-N has gathered for a consultative meeting which will be attended by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, among others.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif also left for London today, where he will join the PML-N leaders for the meeting, which will be chaired by Nawaz Sharif.

The meeting will bring under discussion the country’s political situation and court cases against the Sharif family, among other matters. Important decisions regarding party leadership are also expected to be undertaken during the meeting.

After National Assembly, the Senate on Friday also passed an election bill after rejecting a key amendment proposed by the Pakistan Peoples Party to retain a controversial clause resurrected by retired Gen Pervez Musharraf through the Political Parties Order 2002, paving the way for an otherwise ineligible Nawaz Sharif to head his own faction of the Pakistan Muslim League.

The Election Bill 2017 was passed with a majority vote by the Senate through which the legal bar on a person to serve as an office-bearer of a political party if he is
either not qualified to be, or disqualified from being, elected as a member of parliament under Article 63 of the Constitution is set to go.

Nawaz Sharif is in London to be with his wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who is under treatment for throat cancer.

Before departure from New York, the Prime Minister was upbeat about his visit and said it gave him an opportunity to not only discuss bilateral matters with leaders of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Jordan, Turkey, Nepal, Iran and Sri Lanka, but also to present Pakistan’s case better to the world.

The Prime Minister said he got a positive response both from Trump and earlier in his meeting with the Vice President Mike Pence, which led to an understanding between the two sides to continue dialogue to clear misperceptions.

“No one has given more sacrifices than us” he told the 193 member world body in his address at the General Assembly.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi told media that the Prime Minister was “fully satisfied” with his visit as it helped put the estranged ties with the United States back on track.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif would stay in the United States for few more days to interact with senior US officials.

The Prime Minister was seen off by Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi and Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry.

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