ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and President Asif Ali Zaradri held in-depth consultations at a luncheon meeting over host of important national and international issues here at Aiwan-e- Sadr on Friday.

Spokesperson to the President, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that overall situation in the country, especially the energy situation was discussed during the meeting. He said that the President briefed the Prime Minister about his recent visit to South Korea where he met President of South Korea Mr Lee Myung-bak and also held series of meetings with top South Korean business leaders urging them to take advantage of the investment friendly regime of the country, maximize their investment and play greater role in building strong bilateral economic and investment bonds between the two countries.

He apprised the Prime Minister about his visit to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, United Kingdom, to inquire after the health of Malala Yousafzai. The President informed the Prime Minister that the Hospital authorities had informed him that Malala was steadily progressing and had made great progress on way to full recovery.

It may be recalled that the President, accompanied by Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, also had a meeting with Malala Yousafzai, which was the first ever meeting of Malala with any one outside her immediate family. 

The President also conveyed gratitude of Malala and her parents to the Prime Minister for the role that the Government had played in ensuring best possible medical treatment to her.

The President also briefed the Prime Minister about his visit to France where he attended a high-level event organized by the Government of Pakistan and UNESCO to further promote the cause of girls’ education in Pakistan and other parts of the world and also met his French counterpart President François Hollande.

The President’s visit to Turkey where the President participated in the 7th Trilateral Summit of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey was also discussed during the meeting.

The Prime Minister congratulated the President on his successful visits to these countries which he said would help in providing impetus to the country’s efforts for attracting more foreign investments, strengthen bilateral relations with the respective countries, promote the cause of education, especially the girls’ education and also to push forward the agenda of peace and stability in the neighbouring country and the region by promoting high level political dialogue, security cooperation and economic development partnership among the three brotherly countries.

However, on the other hand, some knowledgeable sources said both the leaders also exchanged views on overall situation in the country with main focus on corruption and accountability. Prime Minister briefed the President about his effort to secure support of the main opposition party PML-N in the probe on massive corruption in the country as claimed by the NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari.

The Prime Minister informed the President about the four members Cabinet committee comprising ministers of Defence, Law, Finance and Information and broadcasting, he has set up to probe the veracity of the data related to corruption as well as the allegations leveled by the NAB Chairman. The Prime Minister also briefed the President about energy situation and steps being taken by the government to tackle the gas crises in the country.