Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Interior Minister of Pakistan, who is on an official visit to the UK, met with Mr Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary, in London today. The two sides discussed a wide range of issues of common interest.
Mr. Ahsan Iqbal briefed the Foreign Secretary that Pakistan is undergoing a remarkable transformation as a result of improved security situation, impressive economic growth and consolidation of democratic institutions. He further said that Pakistan greatly appreciates UK’s role as our important trade and investment partner. The Minister informed the Foreign Secretary in detail about Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate extremism and terrorism from the country.
British Foreign Secretary commended Pakistan’s economic reforms agenda and acknowledged that Pakistan has great potential for economic growth. He said that UK is hugely interested in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and would like to benefit from opportunities arising from this initiative.
The Foreign Secretary particularly appreciated Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts to bring about peace in the region and the world at large.
Mr Johnson said that UK greatly values its friendship with Pakistan and was looking forward to further strengthening these ties.
Today, the Interior Minister had another meeting with Mrs Caroline Nokes, Minister of State for Immigration. He specifically raised the problems being faced by Pakistani students and business people in getting British visas. Mrs Caroline assured the Minister that she would look into the matter and all possible facilitation would be extended to the Pakistani students and business people. The two sides agreed that in order to enhance people to people and business to business linkages, visa bottlenecks would be removed.
The Minister also met with Mr. John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, today. The two sides held detailed discussion on bilateral cooperation in areas of economy and finance.
Earlier, the Minister gave a talk at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), in London. The topic was: Pakistan’s vision for the future. The talk was attended by a select gathering of think tank notables, academia, policy influentials, political analysts and members of the diplomatic community. In his talk, he dwelt upon Pakistan’s economic turnaround, improvement in security and regional situation.
Besides, the Minister addressed a press conference at the Pakistan High Commission in the evening. He also gave interviews to London-based international media outlets.
With this, the two-day visit of the Minister came to an end. He had very useful interactions with the British leadership, Pakistani community, think tanks, British Pakistani parliamentarians, and media.