PM attends state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

LONDON (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday joined world leaders and members of the royal family at the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, held at the Westminster Abbey.
The prime minister especially flew in to attend the last rites and funeral of the Queen, who passed away on September 8 at the age of 96. Over 500 representatives from other countries, including United States President Joe Biden, China’s Vice President Wang Qishan, Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Belgium’s King Philippe, and Queen Mathilde, and 2,000 royal family members attended the Westminster Abbey Service ahead of the Queen’s funeral later in the evening.
The prime minister also penned his condolatory message in the official condolence book at the Church House, conveying grief to the royal family, the people, and the Government of the United Kingdom over the demise of Queen Elizabeth II. Earlier, the prime minister was received at the Great West Door by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, and escorted to his seat in the Lantern.
Queen Elizabeth will be laid to rest at St George’s Chapel in Windsor next to the grave of his deceased husband Duke of Edinburgh Phillip. On Sunday, PM Shehbaz Sharif met King Charles III during the reception hosted by him for the visiting dignitaries and extended condolences to him over the passing of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.
The prime minister said the late monarch was a source of inspiration and strength for generations of the Commonwealth citizens. He also recalled that the people of Pakistan had fond memories of Her Majesty’s two visits to the country, adding the bond of affection between the Royal family and the Pakistani nation had only strengthened with time.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif at the conclusion of his visit to the United Kingdom on Monday left for New York to represent Pakistan at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The prime minister, who was in London to attend the final rites of Queen Elizabeth-II, left for New York from Luton airport to attend the High-Level General Debate of the UNGA session scheduled from September 20 to 26 at the UN Headquarters.
On his arrival at the John F Kennedy International Airport of New York, he will be received by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Washington Masood Khan and other senior officers. On September 20, the prime minister will attend a reception to be hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
On the same day, he will also meet French President Emmanuel Macron, Austrian chancellor and Spanish president. A meeting with President of the European Union Council Charles Michel and participation in the Global Food Security Summit to be hosted by the president of Senegal and African Union is also on the agenda of the prime minister’s visit.
On September 21, he will meet Managing Director of International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva and President of World Bank David Malpass, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Besides meeting with the UNGA president, the prime minister will also attend a dinner reception to be hosted by US President Joe Biden.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will also host a luncheon reception in honour of the Turkish president and his spouse, besides meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. Meetings with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Chinese President Premier Li Keqiang and Japanese PM Fumio Kishida are also part of the prime minister’s engagements.
He will also meet Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel and Malaysian PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob on the same day. On September 23, the prime minister will address the UNGA session, besides attending Nobel Laureate Malala Yousufzai and interacting with prominent American media outlets.
PM asks world to take Pakistan children’s death in floods as ‘clarion call for swift action’: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday urged the world for swift action by taking as a clarion call the deaths of children during the massive floods in Pakistan. Over 500 children lost their lives in the unprecedented floods and rains while around 16 million have been affected, according to official data.
“Let these children not be an arithmetic but a clarion call for swift action to rebuild their lives and future,” the prime minister posted on Twitter. PM Sharif stressed that the global conversation on Pakistan’s flood devastation needed to be focused on the plight of children.
He mentioned that disaster had adversely affected millions of children with over 500 dead. “Super floods” in Pakistan have left 3.4 million children in need of “immediate, lifesaving support,” according to UNICEF. The floods – caused by record monsoon rains and dubbed by one minister as “the worst humanitarian disaster in a decade” – have impacted 16 million children in total, UNICEF’s Pakistan Representative Abdullah Fadil said following his visit this week to the country’s southern Sindh province. That estimate came as the country’s National Disaster Management Authority updated the death toll from the floods since mid-June to 1,545 people, 552 of them children.