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Vow To Hold Peace Talks With India: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan

Since taking power in August Khan has also sought loans from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia, promised to recover funds stolen by corrupt officials

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan prepares to speak at the opening of the Future Investment Initiative conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. VOA

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday vowed to hold peace talks with arch-rival India following elections in the neighbouring country, after a similar offer from the former cricketer was “rebuffed.”

Khan made the announcement during a speech at a Saudi Arabian investment conference where the newly minted leader launched a charm offensive targeting potential investors as Pakistan seeks to secure funds amid a yawning balance of payment crisis.

“When I won the elections and came to power the first thing I tried to do was extend a hand of peace to India,” Khan told the crowd at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, saying the overture was later “rebuffed” by Delhi.

“Now what we are hoping is that we wait until the elections then again we will resume our peace talks with India,” he added, referring to upcoming nationwide polls scheduled to take place by mid-May.

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Imran Khan, wikimedia commons

In September India pulled the plug on a rare meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of a UN summit — a move that was termed “arrogant” by Khan and unleashed a barrage of insults from both sides.

India has long accused Pakistan of backing militants in Kashmir, a Himalayan territory divided between the two countries but claimed in full by both since independence in 1947.

Delhi has stationed about 500,000 soldiers in the portion of Kashmir it controls, where separatist groups demand independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Khan’s call for peace talks comes as his administration is desperately seeking funds from “friendly” countries, including Saudi Arabia, to shore up Pakistan’s deteriorating finances.

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, surrounded by host country representatives and other participants, attends an investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. VOA

The prime minister’s attendance at the FII comes as leading policy-makers and corporate chiefs shunned the conference in response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

During his address at the FII Khan confirmed that Pakistan was also in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a new bailout.

Also Read: Pakistan Fears Economic Turmoil, Re-thinks ‘Silk Road’ Project With China

Since taking power in August Khan has also sought loans from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia, promised to recover funds stolen by corrupt officials, and embarked on a series of high-profile populist austerity measures.

But help has been in short supply and economists’ warnings have grown increasingly urgent. (VOA)

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Social Video app TikTok Reaches 1.5 Billion Downloads Worldwide

To recall, TikTok crossed the 1 billion downloads milestone in February 2019, taking just under nine months to generate a further 500 million installs

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TikTok
The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

Social video app TikTok has reached 1.5 billion downloads worldwide on the App Store as well as Google Play and India leads the chart with 466.8 million or about 31 per cent of all unique installs.

In 2019, the app accumulated 614 million downloads — six per cent more than it had last year, reported mobile intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

India has been a fast adoptor in 2019, driving up 277.6 million downloads so far this year, or roughly 45 per cent of all global installs.

China generated the second largest amount of downloads with 45.5 million, or 7.4 percent, while the US is No 3 with 37.6 million installs, or about 6 per cent, this year.

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TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India. Pixabay

The figure does not include installs from third-party Android stores in the country, said Sensor Tower.

TikTok with 614 million downloads currently is the third-most downloaded non-gaming app of the year, behind WhatsApp at the top with 707.4 million installs and Facebook Messenger at second spot with 636.2 million.

Also Read: Tech Giant Apple Issues Firmware Update for AirPods Pro

Facebook is fourth with 587 million downloads and Instagram at fifth spot with 376.2 million.

To recall, TikTok crossed the 1 billion downloads milestone in February 2019, taking just under nine months to generate a further 500 million installs. (IANS)