Nawaz ex­pected to join She­hbaz in Saudi Ara­bia

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL - LA­HORE -APP

The top lead­er­ship of the Pak­istan Mus­lim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) will be in Saudi Ara­bia over the week­end as Nawaz Sharif - the PML-N pres­i­dent and former prime min­is­ter - is ex­pected to de­part for the King­dom on Satur­day. Ear­lier, Fed­eral Rail­ways Min­is­ter Khawaja Saad Rafique left for Saudi Ara­bia along with his fam­ily.

Trav­el­ling in Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines (PIA) flight PK-759, the min­is­ter left for Jed­dah from Al­lama Iqbal In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

Nawaz's brother, Pun­jab Chief Min­is­ter She­hbaz Sharif, is al­ready in Saudi Ara­bia. He left La­hore for Me­d­ina on Wed­nes­day and was ex­pected to hold meet­ings with se­nior Saudi of­fi­cials. Sources stated that the Sharif broth­ers are also ex­pected to visit Lon­don af­ter con­clud­ing their trip to the King­dom.

Speak­ing to the me­dia in Quetta to­day, In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ah­san Iqbal played down the vis­its to Saudi Ara­bia, say­ing all year round Mus­lims gather in Saudi Ara­bia for re­li­gious pur­poses. "It isn't nec­es­sary that the trips are po­lit­i­cal in na­ture," he added. Ear­lier on Thurs­day, in a press brief­ing, Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral In­ter­Ser­vices Pub­lic Re­la­tions (ISPR) Ma­jor Gen­eral Asif Ghafoor said Rafique's state­ment "doesn't ap­pear to be un­in­tended".

"The state­ment is very ir­re­spon­si­ble and un­war­ranted as you are tar­get­ing the chain of com­mand and the sub­or­di­na­tion sys­tem of Pak­istan Army," said the mil­i­tary spokesper­son.

Rafique, while ad­dress­ing a cer­e­mony on De­cem­ber 24, had praised the army chief for brief­ing the Se­nate and had said it was a con­fi­dence- boost­ing move for ev­ery­one.

The min­is­ter had said there was no dif­fer­ence in the nar­ra­tive and added that the army chief had talked in favour of demo­cratic norms and con­ti­nu­ity. How­ever, Rafique had said oth­ers should also sup­port the army chief's stance on whom "his com­mand is ap­plied to".

"They should also fol­low that or­der," he had com­mented, adding that those who do mis­chiefs should also sup­port the army chief.

How­ever, fol­low­ing the DG ISPR's com­ments, Rafique had said his state­ment was be­ing mis­in­ter­preted in the me­dia.

She­hbaz Sharif also held a brief meet­ing with Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Bi­nali Yildirim on Thurs­day.

He was also ex­pected to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mo­ham­mad bin Sal­man, among other se­nior Saudi of­fi­cials, dur­ing his tour to the King­dom. He ar­rived in Me­d­ina af­ter leav­ing Pak­istan on Wed­nes­day in a spe­cial plane sent by Riyadh.

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