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PM struggles to authorize crucial contact with UAE analogue

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday wrote a letter to the Embassy of United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Islamabad, seeking an arrangement for urgent telephonic contact between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Makhtoum.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wishes to urgently speak to Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Makhtoum over the telephone,” read the letter.

The diplomatic cable surfaced at a time when the prime minister is already in hot water over the Panamagate scandal.

A report on his family’s financial history, submitted to the apex court by a joint investigation team tasked with probing the first family, suggested that a reference should be filed with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against PM Sharif and his three children in connection with their offshore assets.

Opposition parties have also been mounting pressure upon the ruling party for the resignation of the premier. However, the prime minister has vowed that he will not bow down before any such demand.

The letter also highlighted that the Embassy of Pakistan in Abu Dhabi has already contacted UAE authorities in this regard.

A credible source told that the letter, drafted on July 12, was handed over to a UAE envoy by the Foreign Office’s DG Middle East in person on Thursday. The letter was written after failed attempts by Pakistani diplomatic channels in the UAE to establish contact, the source said.

The diplomatic letter sought the assistance of the embassy for the “earliest confirmation of a convenient time slot to make this telephone call, today.” However, the source informed that no such contact had been made till Thursday evening.

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