PM Imran Khan, Saudi crown prince discuss Kashmir’s evolving situation

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is seen in conversation with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman. (PID/File)
Updated 07 August 2019

PM Imran Khan, Saudi crown prince discuss Kashmir’s evolving situation

  • Jeddah hosted OIC’s emergency meeting on Kashmir on Tuesday
  • Pakistan calls the Indian move on Kashmir a “grave and destabilizing” threat for South Asia

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the phone Tuesday night and discussed the Indian action of scrapping Kashmir’s special constitutional status, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
“They discussed the development of the situation in the region and efforts exerted toward it,” the SPA reported.
This is the second telephonic contact between the two leaders in less than a week.
Earlier, on August 1, Khan called the Saudi crown prince and offered his condolences on the sad demise of Prince Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
Khan also thanked Saudi Arabia for its strong political and economic support for Pakistan.
“The two leaders reaffirmed the closeness of Pak-Saudi fraternal ties and reiterated their shared resolve to forge a stronger partnership covering all aspects of bilateral relations,” the PM Office had said in a statement after the contact.
“Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman also invited Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Saudi Arabia on the way to or back from the visit to New York for UNGA Session,” the statement read.
On Tuesday, Jeddah hosted and emergency meeting of OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of Indian action to alter the status of Indian administered Kashmir.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who led the Pakistani delegation, apprised the participants that New Delhi’s move to tamper the demography of Indian administered Kashmir and altering the disputed status of Jammu & Kashmir are “a grave, destabilizing threat to the already volatile situation in South Asia and would have serious implications,” Pakistan Foreign Office said in statement.
“The Contact Group expressed their support to the efforts of the Pakistan government for the resolution of the dispute and declared solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement added.

Pakistan says in touch with 150,000 nationals in virus-hit Italy

Updated 21 March 2020

Pakistan says in touch with 150,000 nationals in virus-hit Italy

  • Says diplomatic mission in Italy is in touch with the nationals, 2,000 of whom are students
  • Italy has so far reported more than 3,400 deaths, including one Pakistani

ISLAMABAD: Italy is home to about 150,000 Pakistani nationals, concentrated mostly in the the country’s north — Lombardy region with Milan as its capital, the Foreign Office (FO) said on Thursday.

 “Our Embassy in Rome and Consulate General in Milan are in constant contact with the Pakistani community,” FO spokesman Aisha Farooqui, said in an official handout.
The statement comes at a time when the death toll in Italy from the deadly virus has surpassed that of China.
“The Embassy as well as Consulate General had set up 24/7 help lines to provide services and information to the Community at the start of the outbreak.” Farooqui said.

Pakistani diplomats are also coordinating with education institutes across Italy where nearly 2,000 students from the South Asian country are currently enrolled, the statement read.

The death of first Pakistani national, Imtiaz Ahmed, from the contagion was also reported in Italy on March 11. With a population of 60 million, the European country has so far reported more than 3,400 deaths.

According to media reports, a visiting Chinese Red Cross team slammed Italy for not taking the quarantine requirements seriously, making it difficult for health authorities in the country to limit the spread of the virus.

Given that China has reportedly managed the viral outbreak, Italy has seemingly emerged as COVID-19’s new global epicenter.

Meanwhile, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan jumped beyond 440 on Thursday after a sharp spike in numbers in Sindh and Balochistan.