PM desires further strengthening of Pak-Saudi ties in diverse fields

Gov’t making efforts to fix the problem of load-shedding: PM


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Monday directed the relevant authorities to formulate recommendations for further strengthening of fraternal ties between Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He also directed for making of recommendations for the promotion of relations, especially in areas of employment, energy, food security and long-term strategic partnership.

The prime minister was chairing a preparatory meeting with regard to his upcoming maiden visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after assuming the office of the prime minister of Pakistan.

It will be the prime minister’s first visit to a foreign country. The visit will prove as a milestone to further enhancing of the bilateral strategic ties between the two brotherly Islamic countries.

The prime minister, during the meeting, said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were tied together in everlasting bonds of Muslim brotherhood.

He said that Pakistanis accorded high esteem to these durable relations. The meeting was attended by Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Sajid Hussain Turi, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, PM’s Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi, PML-N MNA Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other high officials.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday said the current issue of load-shedding in the country was due to the policies of the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf which failed to address the problem of electricity generation in its tenure.

“The PTI government neither purchased fuel in time nor repaired power plants. Hence the current load-shedding,” he said in a tweet. Shehbaz Sharif recalled that previously, Pakistan Muslim League leader Mian Nawaz Sharif during his government had ended the worst load-shedding in five years. He mentioned that expensive power generation by the PTI government through inefficient plants was costing the people Rs.100 billion per month. PM Sharif said his government was making efforts to fix the problem of load-shedding.  The Utility Stores Corporation (USC) has reduced rates of sugar and flour under the directions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to provide relief to people during Ramazan. According to the spokesperson for Utility Stores Corporation, sugar is now available at utility stores across the country at 70 rupees per kilogram with reduction of 15 rupees per kilogram.

He said the price of 10 kilogram flour pack has been slashed by 75 rupees, and it is now available at 400 rupees. The spokesperson said the prices of other subsidized items have not been changed. He urged people to benefit from the federal government’s Ramazan Relief Package. Meanwhile to another official commitment, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Monday directed that all available resources should be utilized for the anti-polio campaign on urgent basis so that the disease could be eradicated from the country permanently. He was chairing a high level meeting here for eradication of polio in sensitive districts of the country.

Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, provincial chief secretaries, deputy commissioners of affected districts and other high ranking officials attended the meeting.

He directed that special focus should be given to the districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including North and South Waziristan and Bannu during the anti-polio campaign.

He said vaccination of those children who could not be given vaccine for some reason, should be ensured. People should be provided best possible medical services, he added.

He said that those deputy commissioners who performed better in the campaign to stop polio should be acknowledged as national heroes. Further adding to this, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has clarified that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will bear the expenditure of his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia instead of burdening the national exchequer.

In a series of tweets on Monday, she said that the Prime Minister is going to Saudi Arabia on a commercial flight. Referring to PTI leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain’s tweet, Marriyum Aurangzeb said the former Minister should know that neither Shehbaz Sharif is carrying a chartered plane nor any journalist will go with him on government expenditure.

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