Saturday Sep 17, 2022
LONDON: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday reached the United Kingdom to attend the state funeral of late Queen Elizabeth II in London on September 19 where he will represent Pakistan.
The prime minister has embarked on a two-day UK visit where he will also meet PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.
The prime minister is scheduled to have a three-hour long meeting with the elder Sharif. He will spend a busy day in the UK capital attending a number of engagements.
PM Shehbaz will return to Pakistan on Monday soon after attending the state funeral for the late Queen — who died at the age of 96 on September 8 at her Balmoral Castle residence.
The coffin of the late monarch has been lying at the historic Westminster Hall since Wednesday.
Some 750,000 people in total are expected to file past the coffin ahead of the state funeral on Monday which presidents, prime ministers, royalty and other world leaders are due to attend.
US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of Australia, Canada and Jamaica will join the emperor of Japan among the congregation.
During the meeting in London, PM Shehbaz is expected to brief Nawaz — his elder brother and PML-N supremo — on the country’s economic and political situation.
The coalition government has not been able to achieve political and economic stability since its formation in April, while decisions like increasing petrol prices and soaring inflation have drawn criticism to Shehbaz Sharif's government.
Senior analyst Suhail Warraich had revealed — while speaking in the Geo News programme "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath" in late August — that Nawaz is neither satisfied with the performance of Shehbaz nor Finance Minister Miftah Ismail. Warraich said Nawaz wants Shehbaz to review his policies.
Warraich added that Nawaz repeatedly asked him to call on Shehbaz and ask him to revisit his economic policies. "Shehbaz should take the public into confidence about his economic policies," the journalist quoted the PML-N founder as saying.
Replying to a question regarding his meeting with Nawaz in London, Warraich said that Nawaz Sharif is absolutely unhappy with the economic policies of the incumbent government. He said Nawaz is not impressed by Miftah's performance.
The analyst quoted Nawaz as repeatedly saying: "I had already proposed to you not to form the government and go for the general elections." Warraich said: "It appears that Nawaz Sharif has made up his mind that he wants economic policy from Ishaq Dar alone.
Warraich said Nawaz wants Dar to work on the economy. He also said Nawaz doesn't seem to be reposing trust in Miftah as he [Nawaz] believes that the finance minister doesn't know much about economic policies.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Asif Ali Zardari, and Nawaz held a telephone contact Friday to discuss the ongoing political situation in the country.
The PDM leaders rejected PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s demand for immediate general elections and made it clear that the ruling alliance would go to general elections next year after economic stability and rehabilitation of the flood-affected people.
They declared election date will not be given due to Khan’s long march. They vowed that scale of justice should be equal for all.
PDM head Fazl had telephoned the PML-N supremo and the PPP co-chairman.
Sources said the three leaders also discussed the strategy to counter Khan’s new protest call.
— Additional input from Online