Sunday December 10, 2023

PM Shahbaz says govt may import wheat from Russia if sold at 'right price'

Premier reiterates climate change-induced calamity "not Pakistan's fault"

By Web Desk
September 24, 2022
Prime Minster Shahbaz Sharif. — AFP/File
Prime Minster Shahbaz Sharif. — AFP/File 

Prime Minster Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday spoke of the possibility of importing over a million tonnes of wheat from Russia if sold at the "right price", as well as the right terms and conditions, following the country's recent economic turmoil exacerbated by catastrophic floods.

The premier, in interview to the Associated Press (AP) on Friday, said that the flooding has directly impacted 33 million people, and claimed the lives of around 1,500 people, including children.

PM Shahbaz said that the climate change-induced calamity is "not Pakistan's fault", while urging those who have the resources, to come forward and contribute to the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts.

The prime minister said that the United Nation's Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has agreed to hold a donors’ conference immediately.

Reiterating that Pakistan seeks peace with India, the prime minister said: "We would like to reset our equation with India but that has certain pre-requisites — the burning issue of Kashmir which [can be resolved] through peaceful talks."

Regarding Afghanistan, the premier said that the Taliban government must ensure equal rights for Afghanis and adhere to the Doha agreement. "For that, the frozen assets of Afghanistan must be restored immediately," he said.

PM Shehbaz addressed the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York a day earlier, during which he talked about several issues faced by Pakistan including climate change, relations with India, and Islamophobia, a speech panned by the PTI as a "copy-paste" version of former prime minister Imran Khan's address to the UNGA in 2019.