PM’s visit reaffirms Pak-UK ESD partnership : FO

PM Gilani and PM Cameron

ISLAMABAD: foruegn office spokesman has declared the recent UK visit of Prime Minister Gilani as very successful and productive, in confirming the reaffirmation of the partnership of the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD).

In a recent statement issued here, the spokesman has stated the primary purpose of PM’s visit to UK as bieng , taking it to the next level by between Pakistan and the UK.visit to the UK from the 8th of May to the 13th of May 2012. Last year, during his trip to Pakistan, Prime Minister Cameron referred to the relationship as being unbreakable. Pakistan is equally committed to the relationship with the UK.

The ESD constitutes five key areas of the Pakistan-UK relationship, namely trade & investment, economic growth & development, security, education and cultural cooperation, regarding which the PM had extensive and constructive discussions with Prime Minister David Cameron around these core issues.Both also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the peace and stability in Afghanistan, while PM also had useful interactions with a range of other British leaders, including the Opposition Leader Edward Miliband.

Talks with UK Cabinet members. including the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Trade and Investment, Development, Interior, and Energy, were also carried out.The most substantive outcomes of the summit-level annual review of the ESD was the joint launching of two roadmaps by Prime Minister Gilani and Prime Minister Cameron, were “Trade and Investment Roadmap” , envisages increasing bilateral trade to £ 2.5 billion by 2015.and the Roadmap on Cultural and educational exchange, seeking to deepen and advance the people to people relationship between the two countries.

To kick-start the Roadmap of Trade and Investmen Prime Minister Gilani met with select businessmen and investors both at the London Stock Exchange and at the Standard Chartered Bank; while on the Cultural & Educational front over one million Britons are of Pakistani origin or descent, repersenting a tremendous asset to their own country, the UK as well as to the country of their origin.The UK has committed almost £ 1.4 billion over four years (2011-2015), with a large share of this investment in primary education in Pakistan.

One of the foundations of the Pakistan UK relationships is the shared commitment to democracy and democratic institutions, according to which the visit also afforded a good opportunity for parliamentary contacts.Prime Minister Gilani addressed parliamentarians from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. He also met members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. While Prime Minister David Cameron joined Prime Minister Gilani at the launch of the “Conservative Party Friends of Pakistan” – a welcome initiative by Baroness Saeeda Warsi to enhance existing parliamentary ties.

Prime Minister Gilani also met with the Pakistani community – which is as large and vibrant a Pakistani diaspora as any in the world. He addressed the British Pakistan Foundation, laid the Foundation stone of the Consular Hall at our High Commission and met with members of the Pakistani media, as well as British media that focus on the Pakistani community.To enhance linkages between institutions of higher education, the Prime Minister addressed a Roundtable with Vice Chancellors of British Universities.The Prime Minister also extended an invitation to Prime Minister Cameron to visit Pakistan next year for the second Summit level review. – Onlinenews