UK, Pakistan have a history of relations bolstered by Pakistani diaspora in Britain: Matthew Rycroft

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Zubair Qureshi

The most senior official in the UK Home Office, Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft is visiting Pakistan on a two-day tour to discuss shared priorities and future cooperation to reaffirm the Pak-UK ties.

The UK and Pakistan have a long and shared history that is bolstered by the 1.6 million Pakistani diaspora in the UK that is at the heart of the relationship between the two countries.

It is because of the people-to-people ties that Pakistan has achieved the status of a particularly important partner for the UK Home Office, said a press statement issued Wednesday.

“These ties are reliant on an effective and well-functioning migration relationship and the UK is committed to strengthening our visa routes and facilitating those wishing to travel between the two countries,” said Matthew Rycroft, adding that the Home Office was delivering an immigration system that would offer clear opportunities to the brightest and best from Pakistan to come to the UK to study, work and live.

During his visit, Matthew Rycroft talked about the UK Home Office’s new immigration system that will level the global playing field to those wishing to come to the UK. Pakistani students will benefit from new graduate routes, providing an excellent opportunity for Pakistani students to enter into skilled roles in the UK job market.

The Permanent Secretary also took part in a range of engagements and meetings at the Ministry of Interior and associated agencies to discuss challenges affecting operational cooperation and identify areas of mutual interest to expand collaboration.

Highlighting the ground-breaking collaboration between Metropolitan Police and Pakistani authorities last year, which resulted in getting justice for the murder of Dr Imran Farooq, Matthew Rycroft set out his desire to work much closer with the Government of Pakistan to tackle shared threats and bring criminals to justice.

On recent developments in Afghanistan, Rycroft discussed a host of security issues including narcotics smuggling, human trafficking and illicit finance.

This is the second visit of a senior British representative to Pakistan in the last three months. Former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab visited Islamabad early September and met with senior Pakistani leaders including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

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