Pakistan PM expresses desire to strengthen ties with Afghanistan

Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal (right), the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, meets Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. (Photo courtesy the Afghan ambassador’s twitter account)
Updated 22 March 2018

Pakistan PM expresses desire to strengthen ties with Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has called for increased cooperation with Afghanistan.
It came in a meeting with Afghan ambassador Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal on March 21, during which the pair discussed relations between the nations and efforts to ensure lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“The prime minister underlined the importance of institutional interaction and high-level exchanges to enhance bilateral trade, economic cooperation and the transit of Afghan goods through Pakistan,” Abassi’s office said.
He also “reiterated Pakistan’s support for the efforts toward Afghan reconciliation under an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.”
The Afghan ambassador welcomed the prime minister’s comments, and said that “President Ashraf Ghani and the Afghan leadership also desire meaningful engagement with Pakistan in all areas of interaction,” according the PM’s office.
On March 17, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua met Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and his Afghan counterpart Haneef Atmar in Kabul.
During that meeting, Ghani extended an official invitation for Abbasi to visit Kabul for government-to-government talks. This was Abbasi’s first meeting with the Afghan envoy since then.
The prime minister also took the opportunity to condemn a suicide-bomb attack earlier in the day at a shrine in Kabul that killed at least 29 people. He expressed Pakistan’s solidarity with the government and people of Afghanistan in the face of terrorism.
This was reiterated by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, which said it “strongly condemns today’s reprehensible suicide attack close to Ali Abad hospital and Kabul University. We are grieved at the loss of precious and innocent lives in this brutal attack of terrorism.”
It added: “Pakistan reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all forms and manifestations and expresses solidarity with the government and people of Afghanistan in their fight against the menace of terrorism.”


Shehbaz and Hamza Sharif released on parole to attend Begum Shamim Akhtar’s funeral

Updated 27 November 2020

Shehbaz and Hamza Sharif released on parole to attend Begum Shamim Akhtar’s funeral

  • Mother of Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif, Begum Akhtar’s last rites will be performed in Lahore on Saturday
  • Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif prayed for Begum Akhtar in London before her body was flown back to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and his son, Hamza, were released on a five-day parole to attend Begum Shamim Akhtar’s funeral that will be held in Lahore on Saturday.
Begum Akhtar, who passed away in London last Sunday, was the mother of Pakistan’s former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in Britain after he got a medical bail and flew out of the country in November 2019.
The Sharif family faced corruption allegations soon after the Panama Papers were leaked in April 2016.
The country’s top court disqualified the former premier from holding public office in July 2017, and he was convicted by an accountability court the next year.
While Nawaz Sharif currently resides abroad, his brother, Shehbaz, and nephew, Hamza, have been in prison and facing corruption references against them.
The provincial administration of Punjab released them on Friday to attend Begum Akhtar’s last rites as her body was flown back to Pakistan from London.
The PML-N founding leader, Nawaz Sharif, will not return to Pakistan for the funeral, though he prayed for his mother’s departed soul in a small congregation in London.
Sharif also missed his father’s funeral in 2004 since he was denied permission to return to his country from exile in Saudi Arabia by the administration of General (r) Pervez Musharraf.