Cameron, Gilani discuss trade, security and education

Published: April 5, 2011
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British Prime Minister David Cameron and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani chat prior to their meeting at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on April 5, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

British Prime Minister David Cameron and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani chat prior to their meeting at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on April 5, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday said that Britain’s friendship with Pakistan was unbreakable and it has been further enhanced by the strategic dialogue that has just been signed.

Addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Cameron said progress had been made in three major areas: trade, security and education.

He said that it is widely believed that “Pakistan needs trade more than aid” adding that increasing trade was a high priority of the dialogue.

Cameron pledged to encourage British business to increase investment in Pakistan and said that the two countries have agreed to double bilateral trade in goods and services to 2.5 billion pounds per year by 2015.

He said that there were “real opportunities” for British firm in Pakistan, adding that he would continue to push for more access in the European market for Pakistan.

With regards to security, the British prime minister said “terrorism threatens both countries,” adding that there was no higher shared priority between the countries, than tackling terrorism.

He said that both nations had agreed to an increase in cooperation between intelligence agencies, adding that way ahead for Afghanistan was also discussed in the meeting.

Talking on the third issue, education, Cameron said that progress in this area has “the potential to transform Pakistan.”

Part of Cameron’s olive branch is a one billion dollar pledge to help build schools, train teachers and buy textbooks for Pakistani children – potentially Britain’s biggest overseas education project which could put Pakistan at the top of the UK’s aid list.

The four-year scheme, which will have to be matched by Pakistan to reach fruition, is intended to put four million children into school and is seen by Britain as a way to reduce extremism.

He said that Britain was committed to new program of assistance through which they intend to put four million children in schools, train 90,000 teachers and provide six million text books, by 2015.

He termed 2011 as the year of education for Pakistan and urged his counterpart to make education his priority.

‘India, Pakistan should go beyond cricket diplomacy’

Cameron urged Pakistan and India to look beyond cricket diplomacy and embrace their common interests.

He described the sight of the Indian and Pakistani premiers sitting next to each other to watch the cricket world cup semi-final last week in Mohali as a “tremendous sign of hope for the future”.

“I believe the time is ripe for your countries to look even further beyond what divides you and embrace what unites you,” Cameron said in a speech to university students.

“Two democracies, with young, ambitious populations and all the potential in the world, and you live side by side. The opportunities for mutual progress are simply enormous. The opportunity to trade and grow.”

He pointed out that currently, Pakistan represents just one percent of all India’s trade, and India just five percent of Pakistan’s.

“Experts say that the potential is there to expand this by as much as 50 times. Just think what that would mean for jobs, investment and living standards,” the British prime minister said.

“And then there’s the thing you can never put a price on, a stronger relationship between your countries addressing all the security concerns on both sides would mean peace and security for your people.”

He also pledged to push the World Trade Organisation to agree on an emergency trade package for Pakistan, proposed last year by the European Union.

“Back in Europe, we will continue to be the strongest possible advocate for greater Pakistani access to European Union markets, and press our World Trade Organisation partners to reach agreement on the emergency package of trade measures proposed last year by the EU,” he said.

Prime Minister Gilani termed the strategic dialogue between Pakistan and Britain as a step towards strengthening relations.

Gilani said that Pakistan was committed to further strengthen relations in all areas of life adding that he had briefed Cameron of his visit to India.

He added that the two premiers also discussed achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan adding that Pakistan will fully support all Afghan led all efforts.

Earlier, on his arrival, Cameron was welcomed with a guard of honour at the Prime Minister House.

He also met with various government officials present at the occasion including top military leadership and members of the cabinet.

Updated from print edition (below)

Pak-UK relations: David Cameron to arrive today

As the deadline of Western troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan nears, British Prime Minister David Cameron arrives in Pakistan today (Tuesday) to hold important talks with the Pakistani leadership.

During his visit, Cameron will meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, and other leaders as the two sides seek to finalise modalities of their proposed “strategic dialogue” along the lines of the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue.

According to sources in the Foreign Office (FO), the talks will focus on terrorism and the Afghan situation. Sources said that the Pakistani side is likely to ask the UK to use its influence over India to resolve issues including that of Kashmir. Cameron, during a visit to India, had made a statement against Pakistan saying it was straining the two neighbours’ relationship.

Among other interests, Pakistan is also likely to make efforts to secure greater access to European markets through the UK which is a major member of the European Union.

The two countries have also been mulling to cooperate to resolve issues related to the Pakistani community in Britain, numbered at over a million people. One of the issues includes increasing radicalism amongst young Pakistani-origin residents.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (36)

  • ba ha
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:35AM

    Keep him away from Lahore. We dont need another white policeman directing traffic hereRecommend

  • Mohammad Ali
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:56AM

    its alarming once again a white man arrived Pakistan.. May Allah safe us …….
    i have noted that there been always the whether is fishi when some white person comes form America or U.K ………. they don’t think us human beings and they are visiting our country …… fishi………. let hope for the best of our loved country………… peace…. Recommend

  • Bilal Ahmed
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:58AM

    1 day visit must be suspicious.
    An unplanned visit at once and only one day
    “he will talk to enhance cooperation in the areas of bilateral relations, trade, investments and education.”
    Is it possible.
    He is coming to save Musharraf only. Recommend

  • Shahid Kamran
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:58AM

    Exactly. What is he doing here. He has no business in a terrorist state.Recommend

  • SK
    Apr 5, 2011 - 12:29PM

    He shouldn’t have been allowed in protest to his biased utterances for getting better business in India against Pakistan last yearRecommend

  • nakamura
    Apr 5, 2011 - 12:55PM

    He has brought message from the coalation. Remember, there is international gang of Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron who replaced the previous gang of Bush and Blair. They are all and one…kith and kin.
    They might be looking some more cooperation from Pakistan or wanting to help ease up the strained relationships between PK and US after last drome attack. Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 5, 2011 - 1:53PM

    LOL !! There are some very ridiculas comments from readers, in regards to motives behind the visit !!
    firstly its not a major visit as its a day trip!! So all that can be achieved is going to chit chat about , terrorism, aid, trade, etc.
    In regards to Uncle Mush, he really has nothing to say on the issue, as there is no extradition treaty ! period, Also the number of times UK has seeked return of pakistani origin people for involvement in drugs and crimes in UK, have never been heeded by any Pak govt! So what makes Mush’s extradition any different?
    In regards to Kashmir, under this coalition govt in UK, its a waste of time for pak to even raise the issue as UK has some very serious trade deals in place with India and in current climate i don’t see Uk willing to je[odise them. This Uk govt will take same stance in regards to the issue of kashmir as Obama Admin has, and that is to resolve it between two parties concerned.
    There may be little lecture from him to Pak govt, in regards to war on terror, as from UK’s point of view very little is being done in north waziristan, by the army.
    But nothing else in the time frame of the visitRecommend

  • Moise
    Apr 5, 2011 - 2:14PM

    Cant wait to see if someone offered egg to his face.Recommend

  • Nafees Ahmad
    Apr 5, 2011 - 2:16PM

    he must have came with some warning signals or put more pressure on Army and pulling the socks of the politician. He should be expelled from country forever.

    But i guess at least Zardari cant, since his assets and .. bilwal Zardi… humm..LIPS SEALED.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh
    Apr 5, 2011 - 2:19PM

    Dear Mr. Prime Minister
    I know you are not going to make that bold gesture, but you owe the people of Pakistan, an apology for your remarks during your last trip to India where you left no stone unturned in slandering Pakistan in front of Indian University students, which was also seen by millions live on television. Your remarks were inappropriate and undiplomatic in nature which is in direct contradiction to Britain’s reputation as a moderate and diplomatic power house in today’s politics. Your remarks in India were motivated purely for economic reasons, as you want to benefit from India’s rapid economic growth, benefiting through a nation’s prosperity can be achieved by means other than slandering another nation and labeling countless accusations. Recommend

  • bunny
    Apr 5, 2011 - 3:00PM

    Cameron is known as good speaker…bring him in front of student from any university of Pakistan..Give student the authority to ask the questions to him….I can challenge you he will be speechless and will know about the real Pakistan…other than those sold puppets…which are ruling currently….Recommend

  • Mulla Toofhan
    Apr 5, 2011 - 3:06PM

    Is he here to collect Raymond Davis things left behind by him, or perhaps to recruit some more Pakistani mercenaries for Libya. these people would never go out of their way unless he wants Pakistan to sacrifice more lives for their comfortRecommend

  • Faisal
    Apr 5, 2011 - 3:59PM

    He is a Brit, thank him for the creation of Pakistan.Recommend

  • John
    Apr 5, 2011 - 5:24PM

    PAK is going to receive largest share of AID from UK for quite sometime and this will not be the first time to see an UK PM. PAK needs everyone in the world, if she is to survive and prosper.

    So it is high time to get the house in order and terrorism is the first priority. Developments are in the right direction and now the burden is on PAK shoulders. Recommend

  • Rameez Karamat
    Apr 5, 2011 - 5:39PM

    Now well said, i like the educational stuff… Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 5, 2011 - 5:48PM

    @Nafees Ahmad:
    Yes please tell your govt , to expel him !!! At least we the citizens of UK won’t have to bankroll you for your stupidities and incompetance in managing your economy !!!!!!!
    Get real without Uncle Sam & Her Majesty’s Govt’s financial assistance, you lot would have been bankrupt nation few years back!!!!!! Wake up !!! It helps to face reality at times!! Recommend

  • Apr 5, 2011 - 5:58PM

    what are you peopl complaining of.you will be getting2billon dollar for next4years.what do you give it to uk.you have infected uk with millio extremists destroyede multiculture.he comes only to find out how many british paki are training here.you all are burden on british.uk is still payin for illegimitate child of subcontinentRecommend

  • bunny
    Apr 5, 2011 - 6:15PM

    Faisal….Brit is also brand for shaving razors in our Pakistan….what its is used for..Recommend

  • Waqas
    Apr 5, 2011 - 6:26PM

    This time ‘white skin’ arrived with MI5 and MI6 officials, something fishy out there. Let’s see what plans he directs to servants(Gov’t)…!Recommend

  • Waqas
    Apr 5, 2011 - 6:28PM

    @bunny:
    ha ha ha…Recommend

  • Zain
    Apr 5, 2011 - 6:59PM

    @Hedgefunder:
    Your Own politicians Rob India to put money in these Banks.
    Pakistan do not need any assistance .Its the corrupt Politicians of Pakistan who feast on this aid, It never gets to People anyway. S, its basically is usedto keep in Power rather dictatrs or Corrupts. People of Pakistan has nothing to d with this aid. And If its not for these Corrupt Elites in power, Pakistan do not need any money from outside. By theway, looks Lie its very much your Business.. Go take a hike.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 5, 2011 - 7:03PM

    @John:
    Good Afternoon John, See the ungrateful lot, this is why people in UK object to assisting these motley lot !!!!! I hope they have the common sense to see that without Aid, there is no pakistan!! Period !! And reading the local media here it seems the feeling is mutual as there are plenty of deserving causes for these funds in local society.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 5, 2011 - 8:01PM

    @Zain:
    Firstly please note, that i am of Indian Origin, but an UK Citizen, so what the Indian Politicians get up to does not directly affect me, as i pay my taxes in UK not in India, however i do take moral stand against the ills of India and its Politicians too.
    If Pakistan does not need any assistance and aid, then why has it become fashionable for the leaders of Pakistan to do their begging bowls circuit of donar nations seeking help on behalf of pakistan ?
    After all, who gave them the mandate to the office?? The people of pakistan !!!
    I understand that the aid does not reach the people, but whose fault is that ?? The people! As they elected these Politicians to the office !!!!
    Lastly i don’t mind taking the hike, if my hard earned money of which i am paying 30 pence in the pound minimum, and increasing as the financial year progresses, with other taxations too !!! Is not wasted under the impression of good deeds…..Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 5, 2011 - 8:10PM

    How many of these pakistani commentator on this article actually do pay any TAX ?? Please Flag it!!!
    If so, please enlighten the rest as to how much and how does the system work in pakistan!!!
    Then get back on your high chairs and insult those nations who are providing your country with AID & Assistance !!!!!Recommend

  • Raj
    Apr 5, 2011 - 10:26PM

    @Hedgefunder : After your question silence prevails :) . It’s pretty common in the subcontinent where everybody wants the cat to be belled but nobody is ready to take the onus.

    People put blame on the politicians, but they forget that politicians are also citizens of the same country and the ordinary citizens who are critical of their leaders probably will not act in a different manner once provided with greater responsibilities. So if you wish to change things in your region, then behave yourself in the same way you wish the politicians to behave.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:43PM

    LOL !!!! expected this!! The high moral brigade has decided to take hike!!!!!!
    These people need to look in the mirror themselves before getting on their high horses !!!!
    Thank you Raj, for your response.
    Its gone bit quiet, perhaps they have all decided to go to sleep, there !!
    But I am about to start watching Real v Spurs match !! With my Holy water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Apr 6, 2011 - 12:14AM

    T, S and E are the key to success. Recommend

  • John
    Apr 6, 2011 - 12:38AM

    @Hedgefunder:
    Good afternoon to you too.

    I can feel the anguish in your words. Unfortunately PAK people has been brain washed through their text books that Brits and Indians are the root cause of all evils of Pakistan and now the US has become number 1 enemy through their media.

    India offered flood aid, their pride did not allow it to take it directly but it was sweet when India gave it through UN. Death to America but not a single thank you when America was flying aids non stop to flood victims.

    The economy is literally bankrupt and Govt could not pay the salaries, yet when KL bill money came through they want more for transit route.

    It is always the entitlement mentality that turns people off. Now white man comment. Yet,they all want to come to UK from politicians through common man.

    The most fertile land, abundant water supply, sufficient natural gas and coal, all the skills necessary for trade, small population size, yet PAK managed to spoil their economy.

    Blame everything on India, Israel, US now UK. Something seriously wrong in this land.Recommend

  • John
    Apr 6, 2011 - 1:54AM

    @Deen Sheikh:
    Mr. PM wants to covey to you that he spoke the truth and he chose India because at least then the PAK would wake up from intoxication and listen.

    Her Majesty’s gov have been saying this quietly behind closed doors in UK and whenever her members visited PAK but no one seemed to care.

    Sometime truth hurts. Recommend

  • True pakistani
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:20AM

    What ever mess in Pakistan is created by Pakistani and people of Pakistan is responsible for this. We are never paying tax on name of Islam. We kill people in name of Islam. When comes to our benefit we kill our Muslim on name of Islam. We create whole system of today in Pakistan.

    But When ever time comes to take responsibility , We blame politician or army generals.
    But Actually we create them.

    When we fail to protect our nation, we blame US, India or western country.Recommend

  • Saad H
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:07AM

    Seriously people, David Cameron isn’t American! So please stop talking about bombings and raymond davis!

    Plus, if he wants to do something good for Pakistan like providing funds to improve the education system, then why not just accept it in a humble way? Why do we always have to question everything?! And he said that he’s keen for Britain to invest in pakistan, which would generate business and improve our economy. I dont see anything wrong with that.

    I know he said something wrong about Pakistan in India, but
    at least he had the guts as well as the decency to come to Pakistan!Recommend

  • Peace On Earth
    Apr 6, 2011 - 6:00AM

    PM Cameron is right. Think for a minute, if India and Pakistan were to cooperate and open up trade between each other with no tariffs, duties, or taxes, imagine the benefit and economic opportunities that would be available for the common man?

    Unfortunately, crazy Pakistanis who are anti-everything, corrupt politicians, and mullahs will find any and every excuse to brush away the facts and continue to do what they do while the common man suffers.

    So sad…Just looking at the comments shows me that the people who yell out “gora guy” or “American puppet” are the same people who run this country which is why nothing productive gets done.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 6, 2011 - 12:20PM

    @John:
    Good morning John,
    Yes you are right, i was bit worked up ! purely due to some very ungrateful comments about the assistance & abuse towards the very people who are helping them, from UK, as we see daily round of govt cuts on services here, due to the economic slowdown and rise in unemployment.
    Yet there are idiots in pakistan who really do not appericiate, what the donars are giving to them !!!! Its like their Divine Right to seek help and assistance from the rest !!!!!!Recommend

  • shah-n-shah
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:17PM

    @ Hedgefunder,
    Pakistanis got your message. Now your are sounding like an Old Bagpipe in an empty street. Move On Buddy!!!!.Recommend

  • Faraz
    Apr 6, 2011 - 3:08PM

    @Hedgefunder:

    Don’t get us wrong we appreciate the work UK is doing here especially under the circumstances they are currently in, the children certainly deserve every chance at a better life that can be provided. However the skepticism you see here stems from the fact that we, our people and our soldiers continue to lose thier lives daily for a war that is not ours. 35,000 + lives lost (offical numbers).

    Just for the record I work 9 – 8, pay my taxes in full & contribute to the education of children of my coutnry so that they may have a chance of a better life that they otherwise would not have had.

    Now its time to get of your moral high horse and chill. Your PM is here so that UK can have influence in our affairs and that is all. It’s not out of a need to set the world right or educate under Privileged children if so give money to the SOS childrens cillage or Save the children foundation as that would have been mney better spent. and if you cant see that the truth then your blind.

    However thank you to the UK taxpayer regardless of the intentionRecommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 7, 2011 - 1:30PM

    @Faraz:
    May i suggest that you take a opportunity, and check out some UK newspapers in regards to this visit of PM, Namely The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.
    Please read the comments on this issue in any of them and then gauge opinion as to how pakistan and its people are viewed in regards to the crises facing pakistan.Recommend

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