PM Khan departs from Saudi Arabia for Pakistan

Prime Minister Imran Khan departed from Riyadh for home via a commercial flight on Sunday after his special plane had to turn back to New York with a technical fault on Friday.

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Premier Khan, who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, was seen off at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi.

On Friday night, a plane carrying Prime Minister Imran Khan and his entourage returned to New York after developing a technical fault while heading to Pakistan.

The prime minister had taken off from New York’s Kennedy International Airport on Friday evening in a special jet placed at his disposal by the Saudi government, but it flew back in a couple of hours to have the problem fixed.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, who had earlier seen off PM Imran, rushed back to the airport to be on hand.

The prime minister, who led the Pakistan delegation to the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, waited at the airport for some time while technicians tried to fix the fault, but more work was needed and they decided to complete it by Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Lodhi escorted the prime minister back to the Roosevelt Hotel where he was staying during his hectic seven-day trip.

Officials said if the plane is not fixed in the morning, the prime minister would take a commercial flight back to Pakistan where he is anxious to visit earthquake-hit areas and visit the affected families.

During his “Mission Kashmir” visit to New York, the prime minister addressed the 193-member UNGA, attended UN summit meetings, met a number of world leaders on the sidelines of the session, including United States President Donald Trump, addressed think-tanks and interacted with international media.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Naeemul Haque also confirmed the technical fault and announced that the prime minister would be spending the night back at the hotel in New York.

With input from APP.

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