Ties with Pakistan crucial amid uptick in terror attacks: UK defence advisor

British high commissioner says trade with Pakistan ‘tripled’; British navy ship’s arrival bolsters maritime bonds

Nisma Chauhan August 30, 2023
British High Commissioner to Pakistan Jane Marriott poses for a picture with UK Defence Advisor to Pakistan Brigadier Paul Hayhurst in Karachi. PHOTO: EXPRESS


UK Defence Advisor to Pakistan Brigadier Paul Hayhurst said on Tuesday that it is ‘really important’ for London to continue to develop ties with Islamabad for the regional security of the region.

Addressing media persons on the occasion of British Navy ship HMS Lancaster’s arrival to Karachi for joint exercises with the Pakistan Navy, Brigadier Hayhurst said that terror attacks in Pakistan have increased in the recent past following the Fall of Kabul “more than anyone anticipated”.

“The global security situation with the illegal unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia has also reputedly reduced the GDP of Pakistan by about 1pc,” he added.

In the wake of this, he maintained going forward “it is now really important for the UK to continue to develop its relationship with Pakistan to enhance the regional security not only within the country but the maritime security around the course.”

The UK defence advisor said that the arrival of HMS Lancaster and maritime exercises between the two countries is the latest stage in the relationship between England and Pakistan as the two continue to develop and maintain their partnership.

Brigadier Hayhurst was flanked by British High Commissioner Jane Marriott, Commanding Officer HMS Lancaster Commander Chris Sharp and UK Maritime Component Commander Commodore Philip Dennis.

UK-Pakistan trade ‘tripled’

Talking on the occasion, Ambassador Jane Marriott said that trade between Pakistan and the UK has “tripled to nearly 4.4bn pounds”, primarily in the field of textile exports to England and metal parts imports to the South Asian nation.

“We are starting to look into how we can increase that into other sectors, such as, IT services,” she added.

As part of the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) projects, Marriott also informed that the UK is looking at how it can leverage climate financing through “international private financing, seed funding from the UK as an investment to climate resilience work in Pakistan and to increase its efforts on the project for renewable energy”.

When asked if the UK has a mechanism in place to keep a check on how funds are being utilized in the country, the recently deputed ambassador said that projects, such as, solar energy have a “rigorous system to track and keep a very close eye on financing to ensure that all goes to the right place and deliver the output”.

On cricket, Marriott said that the England Cricket team will be touring Pakistan at the end of next year following the Pakistan men’s and women’s cricket teams tour to the UK in May 2024.

Maritime relations

Speaking about the importance of HMS Lancaster’s arrival to Pakistan, Commodore Philip Dennis, who is also the deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) said that “building ties from short and small exercises to building the nation-to-nation relationship is important for the wider security of the region”.

The CMF is a multinational maritime partnership, including 38 countries, to work together to deny the use of high seas for the transport of illicit cargo smuggling conventional weapons, terror-related weapons and narcotics.

Commodore Dennis said, “This region is a critical region for the world for trade so the correlation of these countries is a really strong way for enabling free navigation and keeping waters safe for commercial shipping.”

He informed that in collaboration with Pakistan’s Anti-Narcotics Force, they successfully interdicted “$2bn worth of street value of narcotics” in the first half of 2023.


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