LAHORE - Senior US diplomats Minister Consular Political Affairs in Islamabad Mr. Terry Steer-Gonzalez along with US Consulate Lahore Political and Economic Chief Berry Junker and Political and Economic Specialist Sadia Sadaf called on Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch Parvez Elahi and MNA Moonis Elahi at their residence here on Thursday.

These US diplomats concerned with political and economic affairs exchanged views about prevailing political situation as well as economic situation.

They also dilated on other matters of mutual interest as well as regional situation particularly Pak-India relations and Afghan affairs.

Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi said that in the background of old relations between the two countries besides mutual contacts and trade there is also need for more and more exchanges of delegations at sectoral and people’s level.

Wheat, flour shortage persist to haunt people across country

The wheat and flour crises persist to haunt common man on Thursday, as prices of the food commodity have soared across the country.

The Chakki owners strike in Lahore has entered in its second day, as the owners association has said that they were ready to sell the wheat flour on the government fixed rate of 45 rupees per kilo if it provides them wheat.

“We could not sell flour cheaper while buying expensive wheat,” Chakki owners said.

The Chakki Owners Association in Lahore had called for an indefinite strike, after the administration took action against flour mill owners. The price of wheat flour has skyrocketed across the country, amid complaints of shortage in several areas.

Wheat flour, an essential staple food in Pakistan, is being sold in Karachi at 70 rupees per KG. Furthermore, Nanbais in Quetta have also issued an ultimatum demanding the government to fix new prices of bread arguing that they could not sell bread on current rates due to hike in flour prices. It is to be mentioned here that the association of bread-makers and the administration have failed to reach a common ground to resolve the prices issue. The Nanbais are demanding 30 rupees rate for a bread of 340 grams of weight.

“A session of talks with the district administration is fixed for today, in case of failure of talks Tandoors will be closed from tomorrow,” the representatives of Nanbai Association said. Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday ordered a high-level inquiry of the wheat flour crisis in the country, to identify the reasons for wheat or flour shortage.

An official statement said that the committee is tasked to identify and fix responsibility, including any purported benefit to a private party, besides suggesting a way forward for future course of action.

The committee comprises Federal Investigation Authority Director General Wajid Zia as its convener and a representative of Intelligence Bureau and director general of Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), Punjab, as its members.

The inquiry report is to be completed until Feb 6 and then submitted to the Prime Minister Office.

The government has already allowed import of 300,000 tonnes of wheat to ease soaring wheat and flour prices in the country.