Sunday, 18 April 2021

Pakistan and United Kingdom to promote peace in region; take relations on higher level

LONDON: Pakistan and United Kingdom have reiterated their commitment to work “hand in hand” for promoting “peace” in the region, consolidate mutual relations and take them to a higher level. The interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who is on a three-day official visit to the UK, met the British foreign secretary Boris Johnson in London on Wednesday. “Islamabad has always given importance to its relationship with London since both Pakistan and the UK share common foreign policy goals on many fronts,” Nisar said. The interior minister accused India of putting regional security at risk by closing all doors for talks with Pakistan. Nisar also raised the issue of Indian involvement in the internal affairs of Pakistan, terming “India the biggest irritant to peace in the region”.

“Pakistan will not be browbeaten by such tactics. The brazen and unprovoked killing of our soldiers (along with the Line of Control) will not go unchallenged,” Nisar said, putting the onus of deteriorating Indo-Pak relations squarely in India. Regarding the Kashmir issue, the interior minister said, “Pakistan is ready to discuss the issue of Kashmir without conditions.” He said Pakistan would continue to support the just rights of the Kashmiri people and their struggle. Over the issue of Afghanistan, the interior minister emphasised that despite Pakistan’s sincere efforts for building peace and stability in Afghanistan, the response from the Afghan side has been marked with unfounded suspicion and baseless allegations. “The international community should acknowledge the efforts of Pakistan made for a peaceful Afghanistan since it would also be beneficial for peace in the entire region.” UK’s Foreign Secretary appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani government and its role being played in the region for peace.

Meeting with Cameron
Nisar discussed the entire spectrum of issues related to his country’s relations with the United Kingdom and examined the progress achieved so far in various agreed areas with Britain’s former prime minister David Cameron. The two men also exchanged views on the regional situation and other issues of mutual interest. Recalling Cameron’s landmark statement that “friends of Pakistan are friends of Britain and enemies of Pakistan are enemies of Britain”, Nisar said the people of Pakistan have great respect for Cameron whose tenure served to raise the profile and substance of the Pak-UK relations taking them to new heights.

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