Britain lauds Pakistan's efforts to curb militancy

British Secretary William Hague has praised Pakistan’s efforts to combat militancy within its borders.


Express June 23, 2010

British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague has praised Pakistan’s efforts to combat militancy within its borders.


He was addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad.


Hague told reporters that Britain has pledged 665 million pounds to Pakistan over the next four years.


Qureshi said both the countries have agreed to hold strategic dialogue, and the dates will be verified later. He called the meeting fruitful, saying it reflects Britain’s broad relations with Pakistan.


British Secretary arrived in Islamabad today on his first official visit to Pakistan from June 23-25.

He is also expected to meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and PML-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif.

The British foreign secretary will visit Karachi and lay a wreath on the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a foreign office statement issued here on Tuesday said.

UK is a P-5 country, a leading industrialized nation, an important member of G-8 and the European Union. UK is among Pakistan's largest trading and investment partners in the EU. There are over 100 British companies operating in Pakistan. Foreign direct investment from the UK from July 2008 to June 2009 amounted to almost US $ 263.4 million.

A one million strong Britons of Pakistan origin/heritage provide a very strong bridge between the two countries. In the recent general elections in the UK, seven Britons of Pakistan origin/heritage have been elected to the House of Commons.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has been appointed as Co-Chairperson of the Conservative Party. British Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell visited Pakistan from June 9-11, 2010.

Bilateral relations between Pakistan and Britain received a structural up-gradation during the president's visit to UK on May13-14, 2009. The most significant outcome of the visit was the establishment of a mechanism for holding Pakistan-UK 'strategic dialogue' in an institutionalized manner.

The first summit level strategic dialogue between Pakistan and the UK took place during Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani's visit to London on December 3, 2009.

The existing institutional forums between Pakistan and the UK include annual bilateral consultations at the foreign secretary level, defence cooperation forum, joint judicial cooperation working group and working group for cooperation on counter terrorism.

UK is providing financial assistance to Pakistan since 1954. UK government administers its financial assistance in line with the Country Assistance Plan (CAP). The new five year CAP for 2010-13 will help Pakistan fight poverty, better governance, sustainable growth, improved aid effectiveness and achieving targets of millennium development goals.

Pakistan's trade with UK has increased from US $ 1.4 billion in 2003-04 to US $ 1.782 billion in 2008-09, which indicates anincrease of 30% during the last five years.

The visit is expected to achieve greater understanding on issues of mutual concern and strengthen relations between the two countries.

COMMENTS (3)

Yasir Qadeer | 11 years ago | Reply Pakistan army has played a major and defining role in curbing terrorism with its operations in Swat and other agencies. The role of media, citizens and civil society groups is also applaudable in this regard.
Umair | 11 years ago | Reply @SKChadha "What about Pakistan’s efforts to combat militancy aminating from its soil against other nations?" -What about Indian state sponsored terrorism in occupied Kashmir?
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