Pakistani opposition to challenge Khan with own PM candidate in parliament

In this file photo, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) or Movement for Justice party, Imran Khan is escorted by police commandos as he attends a general election campaign meeting in Murree on April 29, 2013. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP)
Updated 03 August 2018
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Pakistani opposition to challenge Khan with own PM candidate in parliament

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s two former dominant political parties said on Thursday they would join forces to field their own candidate for prime minister in parliament, challenging former cricket star Imran Khan, whose party won last week’s general election.
The alliance with several other smaller parties appeared unlikely to derail Khan’s election as prime minister, but it could leave him with a thin majority that could make enacting his agenda difficult.
Khan’s party, which won 116 of the 272 elected seats in the National Assembly, is believed to have enough would-be coalition partners among smaller parties and independents to win a majority vote to form a government.
But the main rival parties, which on Thursday repeated accusations that the July 25 vote was rigged by the powerful military, vowed to vote together with several smaller parties against Khan’s election as prime minister in parliament.
“It is an alliance which is against the rigged elections, and where all the political parties were not provided a free and fair, level playing field,” said Maryam Aurangzeb, speaking for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The opposition alliance was not believed to have the numbers to block Khan’s election.
A European Union election monitoring team in its initial assessment described the election campaign as an unequal playing field but said it was up to the people of Pakistan to decide on the vote’s legitimacy.
The PML-N joined with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by the son of assassinated former premier Benazir Bhutto, and several smaller nationalist and religious parties in forming the opposition alliance, known as the All Parties Conference.
The PMN-L and PPP have traded power in Pakistan for most of its history in between periods of military rule after the army seized power, which itself accounts for nearly half of the 71 years since independence from Britain.


King Salman holds bilateral talks with Alvi

Updated 12 December 2018
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King Salman holds bilateral talks with Alvi

  • Both leaders reviewed matters of mutual interest, including trade ties and investment opportunities
  • President welcomed Kingdom's initiative to increase Pakistani pilgrims' quota to 5,000

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz received Pakistan's President Arif Alvi at the Yamama palace in Riyadh on Wednesday, a statement released by the president’s office read.
During the meeting, the two leaders discussed matters of mutual interest, bilateral ties, trade, investment, and economic relations.
Pakistan’s acting ambassador in Riyadh, Zeeshan Ahmed, and consul general in Jeddah, Sheheryar Akbar Khan also accompanied the president in the meeting.
President Alvi was received by the governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar when he arrived in the capital from Madinah.
The president reached Saudi Arabia on Sunday to perform Umrah, marking his first visit to the Kingdom since assuming office in September this year.
Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malki also accompanied the president on his journey.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Press Information Department (PID) tweeted on Wednesday that the Minister for Religious Affairs, Noor ul Haq Qadri -- who is also in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah -- met with President Alvi in Madinah and briefed him about the ongoing talks with the Saudi authorities pertaining to the Hajj agreements.
“President welcomed additional 5,000 quota for Pakistani pilgrims granted by Saudi govt,” a statement released by the PID read.
On Monday, both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to increase the annual Hajj quota for Pakistan in 2019.
Targeting an increase of 5,000 pilgrims next year, authorities said nearly 184,210 Pakistanis will be able to perform Hajj.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy close bilateral relations, with historic trade ties and religious affinity providing a strong basis of trust between the two countries.