Frequent high level visits testimony of special Pak-UK relations


Islamabad—Minister for Defence, Khawaja Muhammad Asif Tuesday said frequent interactions between United Kingdom (UK) and Pakistan had paved way for coordinating approaches to various bilateral regional and international issues.
The country considers UK a close friend and a development partner.
Pakistan had a strong diaspora in UK and likewise there was a large number of British nationals in the country who served as a living bridge between two countries, he said this while talking to General Nicholas Patrick Carter, Chief of General Staff, United Kingdom, who called on him here.
Areas of mutual interest and cooperation in field of defence came under discussion during the meeting.
Both sides were appreciative of frequent visits of high ranking officials as David Cameron’s visit to Pakistan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to UK was a testimony of special relationship between the two countries.
He also highlighted sacrifices rendered by Armed Forces and people of Pakistan in war on terror and mentioned that Pakistan had provided multifaceted support to international community in war on terror.
The visiting General appreciated role of Pakistan Army played in operation Zarb-e-Azb and acknowledged that this would not only bring peace and stability in Pakistan but in region as a whole.
Khawaja Asif also pointed out that Pakistan was trying its best to normalize its relations with neighboring countries, however, resolution of outstanding issues was essential.
The overall security situation of the region and the country were extensively discussed.
In a separate meeting with Secretary Defence, Lt. General (Retd) Muhammad Alam Khattak in Rawalpindi, it was informed that progress had been made though on-going Pak-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) which covered entire spectrum of bilateral relations.
The Secretary Defence highlighted role of Pakistan as a stabilizing factor in wake of drawdown of US led NATO forces from Afghanistan.
The upcoming 15th Round of Defence Cooperation Forum scheduled in July this year at London was also discussed. It was reminded that Pakistan, being member of Commonwealth, attaches great importance to its deep rooted relations with United Kingdom.—APP

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