31st October 2020

PAKISTAN: A Joint Statement between the UK and Pakistan following the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue of 18-20 April 2016

Report By S M Irfan Tahir

PAKISTAN: A Joint Statement between the UK and Pakistan following the Enhanced
Strategic Dialogue of 18-20 April 2016

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Mr Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, visited London
on 18-20 April to take forward the UK-Pakistan Enhanced Strategic Dialogue
(ESD).  The dialogue is a  valuable mechanism for Pakistan and the UK to
reaffirm their commitment to a strong  partnership to increase prosperity,
development and security in both countries.  This  collaboration is underpinned
by strong diaspora links, historical and cultural ties, and  confidence in
Pakistan continuing to develop as a prosperous, secure and stable friend of the
UK.
Mr Aziz met Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for
International Development Justine Greening, Minister of State for Trade and
Investment Lord Mark Price,  National Security Adviser Mark Lyall Grant and
British Council Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Devane.  The two sides reviewed
progress made under the ESD on trade, development,  culture and security.  They
agreed new roadmaps on trade and investment, culture and education, and security
cooperation.  Progress against the roadmaps would be reviewed by Ministers
annually and next in 2017.
Trade and Investment
Both partners welcomed the steady increase in bilateral trade.   Acknowledging
the considerable potential for continued growth, both sides agreed to make
further progress in meeting and exceeding the bilateral trade target of £3
billion.  Highlights of the economic partnership included the opening of British
Business Centres in Lahore and Karachi, annual  UK-Pakistan business summits and
the appointment of UK-Pakistan trade champions.  To boost trade and investment,
the two countries will work together to further improve the business climate,
raise awareness of business opportunities, share expertise and enhance
business-to-business contacts.  Both sides agreed to establish a joint
Pakistan-UK Business Council comprising leading businessmen to be nominated by
their respective governments.
Development
The UK bilateral development programme for Pakistan works to support the country
in realising its potential and meeting the aspirations of its fast-growing
population. Since 2011, UK support has helped more than 6.8 million primary
school children get an education, ensured that nearly a million mothers had
medical assistance during childbirth and supported 1.54 million people to
establish small businesses.
Cultural and Education Cooperation
Under the cultural and education roadmap the UK and Pakistan will expand the
opportunities for young British and Pakistani people to connect, collaborate and
create a friendly understanding.  Working with federal and provincial government
partners across all of Pakistan, British Council will strengthen links and
partnerships between the education systems of the two countries to support
system reform and share best practice; continue to  enable over 250,000 people
to take UK qualifications in Pakistan each year, and train a third  of a million
Pakistani teachers and educators to improve the quality of teaching and use of
English in the classroom by 2018. British Council will expand opportunities for
collaboration in the arts, digital and research; developing partnerships between
both countries to support heritage, museums and the creative industries. By 2017
100,000 young people will develop new skills through social enterprise
initiatives, and 200,000 out of school young children will be supported to go to
school.  Ministers agreed the establishment of a new UK-Pakistan cultural forum.

Security
Faced with the common threat of terrorism, the UK and Pakistan will continue to
cooperate to ensure the safety of citizens in both countries.  They will work to
counter extremism and learn from each other in this area.  Cooperation to limit
organized crime and illegal migration will also continue.
Over the past year, the ESD has continued to demonstrate the depth, breadth and
strength of UK-Pakistan cooperation.  It has played a valuable role in framing
an ongoing, wide-ranging and candid conversation between the two countries on
the issues that matter most.  Throughout the visit, Mr Aziz and his hosts
reiterated their commitment to a long-term partnership covering all areas of
common interest.

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