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Agencies
July 21, 2019

PM arrives in Washington through commercial flight

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A
Agencies
July 21, 2019

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday arrived in Washington for his three-day visit to the United States on a commercial Qatar Airways flight.He will stay at the ambassador’s residence in the city’s diplomatic enclave. During the premier's stopover in Doha, he was hosted by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker. The decision to take a commercial flight has been taken to save taxpayer money. The government has repeatedly promised the entire trip will cost a total $60,000 to the exchequer — significantly less than the much higher expenditures allegedly incurred by past chief executives.

Imran Khan is scheduled to address a record-setting gathering of the Pakistani community at a stadium in the downtown of the Washington DC. The prime minister will address the Pakistani community at Capital One Arena with a seating capacity of above 20,000 persons most of which had been booked already with more people still registering themselves to attend the event.The prime minister’s community address is distinctive as previously, the visiting Pakistani leaders used to address the Pakistani expatriates in community halls or behind closed door at hotels. “The atmosphere we are witnessing this time was never seen in the past. The Pakistani community, the American Pakistanis are yearning to see and listen to Imran Khan and know the concept of Naya Pakistan and what message he has brought along to America,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told media at Capital One Arena where he arrived to review the arrangements.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan departed here on Saturday for three-day official visit to the United States (US), on the invitation of US President Donald Trump.

The prime minister is accompanied by his Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari and Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi is already in Washington who will also be accompanying him during the visit.

As an unprecedented gesture, the prime minister and his delegation opted to fly by a commercial flight to save the public money used to be spent heavily on the chartered flights during the foreign visits in past. This is the first visit of the prime minister to the United States after assuming his office. The visit would feature the first summit-level engagement between Pakistan and the United States since both leaders assumed their respective offices.The prime minister will also be meeting prominent members of the US Congress, corporate leaders and opinion makers as well as members of the Pakistani diaspora.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday met Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways Akbar Albaker in Doha, Qatar during transit to Washington DC, a PM Office press release said. During the meeting, both the sides discussed matters of mutual interest.

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