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In maiden Pakistan visit, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar meets PM Shehbaz, President Alvi

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  • Ilhan Omar also meets ex-prime minister Imran Khan.
  • She will also visit cities to get better understanding of Pakistan.
  • Congresswoman is on a four-day visit to Pakistan — April 20-24.

ISLAMABAD: Muslim US Congresswoman Ilhan Abdullah Omar on Wednesday met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Arif Alvi during her maiden visit to Pakistan.

The Congresswoman is on a four-day visit to Pakistan — April 20-24 — where apart from having meetings with the political leadership in Islamabad, she will visit Lahore and Azad Jammu and Kashmir to have a greater understanding of Pakistan’s cultural, social, political, and economic potential, the PM’s Office said.

Meanwhile, the prime minister, during their meeting at the PM Office, warmly welcomed her on her first-ever visit to Pakistan and appreciated her courage of convictions and political struggle.

The premier hoped that it would lead to deepening people-to-people ties and strengthen exchanges between the Parliament of Pakistan and the US Congress.

The prime minister underscored that Pakistan valued its long-standing relationship with the United States and wanted to further deepen bilateral cooperation based on mutual respect, trust, and equality.

He highlighted that constructive engagement between the two countries could help promote peace, security, and development in the region.

During the meeting, matters of mutual interest including Pakistan-US bilateral relations as well as regional situations were discussed. Maintaining that the US was Pakistan’s largest trading partner, the prime minister emphasised the need to further enhance cooperation between the two countries, especially in the trade and investment fields.

The prime minister lauded the efforts of the Pakistani diaspora in reinforcing the Pakistan-US ties and added that Islamabad deeply valued their contribution to national development and growth.

The prime minister highlighted the serious human rights situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and stressed the importance of peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, enabling the region to realize its economic potential and promote social progress.

The prime minister emphasised that a peaceful and stable South Asian region can focus on its growth and development. He added that concerted efforts, at the global level, were needed to deal with the scourge of Islamophobia.

In response, the congresswoman thanked the prime minister and hoped that her visit to the country would help strengthen ties between Pakistan and the US Congress.

Omar meets President Alvi

Earlier, the visiting US Congresswoman called on President Arif Alvi at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Speaking on the occasion, President Alvi said that Pakistan values its longstanding relationship with the US and expressed the hope that the constructive engagements between the two countries would promote peace and development in the region.

He emphasised the need for further improving bilateral relations in various fields for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

He apprised the visiting dignitary about the atrocities being committed by the PM Modi-led government in India against minorities, particularly Muslims.

He said that India was involved in the genocide of Muslims and committed gross human rights violations against them.

He also highlighted the role played by Pakistan in the promotion of peace in the region as well as its sacrifices against the war on terror.

The president underlined that IT is the most important sector for investment and urged US businessmen to invest in this sector.

Omar said that both countries had huge potential to improve and strengthen bilateral relations. She appreciated the role played by Pakistan against Islamophobia, particularly towards the adoption of UN resolution in this regard.

Omar ‘appreciates’ Khan for his stance on Islamophobia

The Muslim US congresswoman also met former prime minister Imran Khan at his residence in Bani Gala, Islamabad.

Sharing a photo of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Ilhan Omar on her Twitter handle, former minister for human rights Shireen Mazari said that matters of mutual interest, Islamophobia, and other issues were discussed in the meeting.

“Ilhan expressed her admiration for Imran Khan and his position on and work against Islamophobia globally,” she wrote.

Speaking on the occasion, Imran Khan appreciated her courageous and principled position on issues, she added

Who is Ilhan Omar?

The 39-year-old Omar belongs to the Democrats and represents the State of Minnesota in Congress. She is one of the two Muslim women elected to the US Congress in 2018.

An experienced Twin Cities policy analyst, organiser, public speaker and advocate, Omar was sworn into office in January 2019, making her the first African refugee to become a Member of Congress, the first woman of colour to represent Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress.

Born in Somalia, she and her family fled the country’s civil war when she was eight. The family spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the United States in the 1990s. In 1997, she moved to Minneapolis with her family. 

As a teenager, Omar’s grandfather inspired her to get involved in politics. Before running for office, she worked as a community educator at the University of Minnesota, was a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and served as a Senior Policy Aide for the Minneapolis City Council.

In 2016 she was elected as the Minnesota House Representative for District 60B, making her the highest-elected Somali-American public official in the United States and the first Somali-American State Legislator. Rep. Omar served as the Assistant Minority Leader, with assignments to three house committees; Civil Law and Data Practices Policy, Higher Education & Career Readiness Policy and Finance, and State Government Finance.

Omar has staunchly supported Kashmiris in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and has often tweeted her support for them.

In 2019 after the annexation of Kashmir by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Omer had called for an immediate restoration of communication; respect for human rights, democratic norms, and religious freedom; and de-escalation in Kashmir, saying that the international organisations should be allowed to fully document what is happening on the ground.

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Moody’s says the IMF programme will increase Pakistan’s foreign financing.

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Moody’s, a reputable international rating agency, has stated that Pakistan’s chances of acquiring funding will increase as a result of the recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offers dependable sources for that purpose from both friendly countries and international financial institutions.

According to a recent Moody’s analysis on Pakistan’s economy, social unrest and tensions could result from Pakistan’s ongoing inflation. The country’s economic reforms may be hampered by increased taxes and potential changes to the energy tariff, it continued.

Moody’s, on the other hand, agrees that the coalition government headed by Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N is in danger of failing to secure an election mandate, which may potentially undermine the successful and long-lasting execution of economic reforms.

The government’s capacity to proceed with economic changes may be hampered by societal unrest and poor governance, according to Moody’s.

In order to appease the IMF by fulfilling a prerequisite for authorising a rescue package, the government raised the basic tariff on electricity, which coincided with the most recent increase in fuel prices announced on Monday. This report was released by Moody’s.

Food costs have increased in the nation, where the vast majority is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the high cost of living, following the government’s earlier presentation of a budget that included a large increase in income tax for the salaried classes and the implementation of GST on commodities like milk.

The most recent comments were made following Islamabad’s achievement of a staff-level agreement for a $7 billion contract that spans 37 months and is contingent upon final approval by the IMF Executive Board.

It states that Pakistan will need foreign financing totaling about $21 billion in 2024–2025 and $23 billion in 2025–2026, meaning that the country’s present $9.4 billion in reserves won’t be sufficient to cover its needs.

Therefore, according to Moody’s, Pakistan is in an alarming position with regard to its external debt, and the next three to five years will be extremely difficult for the formulation and implementation of policies.

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Accepting provisional respite: Sanam Javed and family relocated to KP House

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Sanam Javed, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and her family have moved into KP Home, an Islamabad guest home.

As a result of the Islamabad High Court’s order to postpone her arrest until Thursday, Sanam Javeed is currently free.

Records of cases filed against her have also been sought by the court.

As instructed by Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur of KPK, the PTI leader and her family were received at the KP House. The CM communicated with Ms. Javeed’s father and husband.

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Adiala Jail is visited by a NAB team to question Khan and Bushra Bibi.

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As per a recent Toshakhana reference, a team from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has reached Adiala Jail with the intention of probing PTI founder Imran Khan and his spouse PTI Bibi.

The NAB team questioning Khan and Bushra Bibi is led by deputy director Mohsin Haroon, according to jail sources.

Regarding the latest corruption reference, the pair is behind bars. Today is the third day that the NAB team has been looking into them.

They answered questions from the NAB team for more than three hours on Monday.

After the fresh reference, Khan and Bushra Bibi were placed under physical remand for eight days by Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich of the Accountability Court.

See Also: Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi are detained in NAB prison for eight days in connection with the Toshakhana case

The release of Khan and Bushra Bibi in the Iddat case was earlier ordered by District and Sessions Judge Afzal Majoka, who also postponed their sentences.

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