British royal couple ‘look forward to build a lasting friendship’ with Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: Communication Secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has said that the Royal couple’s visit to Pakistan would largely focus on showcasing how dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking Pakistani nation is.

In a statement, the Communications Secretary said that Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton would undertake an official visit to Pakistan between 14-18 October, at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

This will be their first official visit to Pakistan.

“Whilst the Duke and Duchess’s visit will pay respect to the historical relationship between Britain and Pakistan, it will largely focus on showcasing Pakistan as it is today – a dynamic, aspirational and forward-looking nation,” read the statement.

From the capital Islamabad to the vibrant city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the North, and the rugged border regions to the West, the visit will span over 1000km and will take in Pakistan’s rich culture, its diverse communities, and its beautiful landscapes.

Throughout the tour, the royal couple will attend programmes which empower young people and organisations that help ensure they have the best possible start in life.

“Access to quality education, particularly to girls and young women is one of the UK’s top priorities in Pakistan. The Duke and Duchess are looking forward to meeting young Pakistanis, and hearing more about their aspirations for the future,” the statement also read.

The programme will also cover how communities in Pakistan are rapidly responding and adapting to the effects of climate change.

“This is a key area of interest for the Royal Highnesses; they are keen to learn more about the climate change issues affecting Pakistan and our world, and the positive work being undertaken to combat these challenges,” the statement added.

The couple will also spend time understanding the complex security picture in Pakistan.

“They will learn more about the challenges and opportunities, both of the past and today. The UK has been a key partner for Pakistan, and Duke and Duchess will meet UK and Pakistan military personnel who are sharing expertise to improve security,” the statement added.

Over the course of the visit, the Royal couple will meet a wide variety of people, including children and young people, leaders from government, business and the charity sector, inspiring conservationists, and well-known cultural figures and sporting stars.

“This is the most complex tour undertaken by Duke and Duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations. Pakistan hosts one of Britain’s largest overseas networks, with the British High Commission in Islamabad being one of the UK’s largest diplomatic mission in the world.  The UK’s links with Pakistan are extensive, and Royal Highnesses are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the people of Pakistan,” the statement concluded.