UK pledges deeper, stronger relationship with Pakistan

Published: May 10, 2012

British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani pose for pictures after a meeting at 10 Downing Street, London, on May 10, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: The United Kingdom on Thursday vowed to build on a deeper and stronger relationship with Pakistan and agreed on building up ties in trade, defence, health and education sectors.      

UK Prime Minister David Cameron after a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani categorically stated that the United Kingdom will be an enduring friend to the government and people of Pakistan.

“Both countries are committed to working together as equals to create the conditions for greater prosperity and security in Pakistan and the UK,” a joint statement issued at the end of the talks said.

Gilani and Cameron discussed trade, economic growth and development, cultural co-operation, security and education at the 10 Downing Street and reviewed the progress being made since the two leaders made the commitment in April 2011 in Islamabad for a deeper and broader dialogue between the two countries.

The dialogue is aimed at strengthening friendship and promoting mutual prosperity and security.

The two leaders also took into account the global economic crisis and agreed that it requires both the countries to make tough decisions to deliver future growth and prosperity. It was also agreed to have a regular dialogue between the governments on economic reform.

Gilani and Cameron also discussed the shared national security challenges and the cooperation in counter-terrorism. They reviewed the outcome of the meeting of the Joint Working Group which met in October and the National Security Discussions between the civilian and military experts in this regard.

A Joint Statement issued after the First Annual Summit of the UK-Pakistan Enhanced Strategic Dialogue noted that since its launch in 2011, the dialogue between the UK and Pakistan has become deeper and broader.

Gilani and Cameron also launched a Trade and Investment Roadmap, setting out the steps both governments will take to promote investment, support business and achieve the target of increasing bilateral trade to œ2.5 billion by 2015.

Gilani pledged his government’s full support in ensuring an enabling business environment to attract and sustain UK trade with, and investment in, Pakistan.

Gilani also expressed appreciation for the UK’s consistent support to Pakistan for enhanced market access to the European Union. He hoped that the UK would continue to support Pakistan’s request for GSP+ and early finalisation of Autonomous Trade Preferences package.

They agreed to continue regular dialogue between their governments on economic reform recognising that economic stability and setting the conditions for enduring growth are key priorities to ensure prosperity for future generations.

Both prime ministers committed to preventing illegal migration as it harms people both in Pakistan and the UK. They agreed to continue to work closely under existing agreements on returning to Pakistan individuals who have no legal right to remain in the UK.       On Security and Defence, both Pakistan and the UK evinced an unwavering commitment to work together to combat the menace of terrorism and extremism which threatens the people of both countries.

During the meeting at the 10 Downing, the two prime ministers held in-depth discussions on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • HRK
    May 10, 2012 - 9:53PM

    Height of irony…the one getting assurance (Gilani) has no moral right to be in his position and the one giving assurance has a history of bashing Pakistan when visiting India.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    May 11, 2012 - 1:32AM

    David Cameron hade finally made up with Pakistan. In October 2010 he accused the country of “looking both ways” when it came to fighting terrorism and suggested that elements in Pakistan were guilty of promoting and exporting terror. In April 2011 during his first trip to Pakistan he said he wanted a “fresh start” in relations and to foster mutual trust by offering £650m in aid and seeking better security co-operation. A year later, the two countries vow to strengthen their ties. The U.K. can show the U.S. what diplomacy is all about.

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  • Imran Con
    May 11, 2012 - 2:46AM

    Generic message.
    Though the day I see any country tell another one in the media to “eat a big one” when it comes to positive future relations is the day I die laughing.

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  • Mansour Haidar Raja
    May 11, 2012 - 3:58AM

    “Britain and Pakistan’s relations have more length, breadth and depth than any other country. It’s not just government to government; the people to people ties are intense, too.
    “And in Pakistan you need to know that Britain, too, is not all about Dickens,“We need to build more trust between the two nations with each country looking after the wellbieng of the other partner.

    ( Mr Adam Thomson British High Commissioner in Pakistan )
    while speaking at a gathering at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs Karachi
    held on Thursday April 27 to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s

    ascendancy to the throne.

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  • curious
    May 11, 2012 - 4:59AM

    British know how to wine and dine you with their hospitality, listen respectfully and then when required might slit your throat in a diplomatic way.

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  • Mansour Haidar Raja
    May 11, 2012 - 5:35AM

    As Muslims enjoy religious freedom in Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, if you compare their religious freedom with Britain.the situation is much better than that level. All Islamic sects in Britain are working with the freedom and legal protection, Ten percent of that freedom is not achieved in any Islamic country. So how it can be assumed that Britain is the enemy of Islam?

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  • Polpot
    May 11, 2012 - 10:11AM

    “UK pledges deeper, stronger relationship with Pakistan”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I have an issue with Gilani’s speechwriter.

    Pakistan”s relationship with China is higher than the Himalayas
    and deeper than the oceans.

    So where does the UK relationship stand?

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