UK recognises Pakistan’s sacrifices for peace in the region: Khar
LONDON: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Friday said the United Kingdom recognises the sacrifices Pakistan has rendered to make the region and the world a safe place to live and has reminded the world to acknowledge Pakistan’s sufferings due to terrorism.
The foreign minister, who is in London as part of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s five-day official visit to the United Kingdom for a review of the Strategic Enhanced Dialogue, said the British prime minister stated Pakistan was a country that suffered the most in the world, because of terrorism.
The foreign minister said that Pakistan-UK relations have moved ahead rapidly in the past four years.
“The country’s stance of supporting democracy in Pakistan has been proved by their acts,” she said and added “I see relations between the two countries developing.”
She said President Asif Ali Zardari had sought market access into the European Union, from the United Kingdom, when he visited the country in the aftermath of the devastating floods in 2010.
“As a result of the strong support shown by the United Kingdom a package of Pakistan-specific autonomous trade preferences has sailed through the European Union Parliament and was now in the final stages,” Khar said.
She said the prime minister’s visit was the follow up of the Enhanced Strategic Review Dialogue that was initiated by Prime Minster David Cameron, during his visit to Pakistan in April 2011 that covers five vital areas.
Following the review the two leaders have unveiled two roadmaps; one relating to trade and investment and the second about culture cooperation and education. She said a strategic dialogue was going on between the two countries in all important areas.
On diplomatic and political level, she referred to Prime Minister Cameron’s speech at the launch of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan Forum, where he gave a bold statement that Pakistan’s enemies were UK’s enemies.
The foreign minister said that David Cameron also lauded the role of Prime Minister Gilani who has nurtured democracy and strengthened parliamentary practices in the country.
She said the statement reflected the strong contacts that have developed at the top leadership level. This, she said, would further deepen and strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
She said Pakistan and the UK have a similar stance on Afghanistan and both want it prosperous and stable, as it was in the interest of all stakeholders and pointed that around 9500 troops were now based in the UK and the country has lost 412 lives.
The foreign minister said, “UK is a country that recognises the large contributions Pakistan has made towards this eventual goal.”