PM confident of deal with IMF current month

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday expressed confidence that Pakistan would conclude a deal with International Monetary Fund (IMF) the current month in a bid to overcome the financial challenges.
Addressing here at the launch of the Green Line train service between Islamabad and Karachi, the prime minister said the headway in talks with IMF would help the country address the current economic situation. The IMF delegation will be visiting Islamabad from January 31 to February 9 to continue discussions regarding the ninth review of the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
The prime minister emphasized the adoption of austerity at a massive scale to tackle difficult economic problems. He said the government had set its priority keeping in view its foreign exchange reserves, thus allowing the import of medicine and food as essential items. He said courageous nations stand united while braving the challenges with resilience.
Shehbaz Sharif expressed confidence that with dedication and commitment, the country would soon regain its glory. He regretted that the Green Line project, which was initiated during the tenure of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was delayed by the previous government in a mala fide. He endorsed the concept of outsourcing Pakistan Railways to make it better equipped and at par with contemporary services.
The prime minister said Main Line-1 (ML-1) railway track was a top priority for the government and mentioned that China was committed to its early completion. He pointed out that the previous government indulged in baseless accusations of corruption against Chinese companies, and stressed that the coalition government was working on restoring the ties. The new train service comprising modern coaches imported from China was launched from the Margalla train station, Islamabad.
The prime minister visited various coaches of the train and appreciated the services provided for the travellers to make their journey comfortable. The Green Line train will have stops at the stations at Rawalpindi, Chaklala, Lahore, Khanewal, Bahawalpur, Rohri, Hyderabad and Drigh Road, Karachi stations. The turnaround time of the Green Line is set at 22 hours, which will be reduced gradually.
Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq said the ticket would cover breakfast, lunch, hi-tea, and dinner besides wifi. Apart from this, he said, high-quality bedding and utility kits will also be provided to the passengers. He said around 2,200 passengers would benefit from the train service to be run between Islamabad to Karachi. He said Pakistan Railways would formulate rules for the approval of the cabinet in the next few days regarding the collection of revenue from its land. He stressed
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Pakistan had become the 24th largest economy in the world under the leadership of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the delay in development projects by the previous government incurred irreparable losses to the country.

Premier for translating fraternal Pak-Qatar ties into concrete economic partnership

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, recalling the long-standing and fraternal ties between Pakistan and Qatar on Friday, underscored the importance of translating the relationship into a concrete economic partnership.
The prime minister was taking to the Ambassador of the State of Qatar in Pakistan, Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who called on him here. The ambassador conveyed a special goodwill message of Amir of Qatar to the prime minister. PM Shehbaz congratulated Qatar on hosting the most successful FIFA World Cup in history and noted with appreciation the important role played by the Pakistani security forces in ensuring foolproof, unblemished, and impeccable security at the event. Reiterating his resolve to work towards further expansion and diversifying of bilateral cooperation, the prime minister highlighted trade, investment, energy, and manpower sectors in that regard. Qatar is home to one of the large Pakistani diasporas in the Gulf Region. Pakistan and Qatar enjoy close and cordial ties resting on the firm foundation of shared faith and values. The two countries closely collaborate bilaterally, as well as on regional and global issues of mutual interest.