Ahsan meets UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson


LONDON Feb 14 (APP):Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal met British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Tuesday afternoon in London and discussed wide range of issues of common interest.
Ahsan Iqbal, who is on an official visit to the United Kingdom, briefed Boris Johnson that Pakistan was undergoing a remarkable transformation as a a result of the improved security situation, impressive economic growth, and consolidation of democratic institutions.
He said Pakistan greatly appreciated UK’s role as its important trade and investment partner.
He informed the foreign secretary in detail about Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate extremism and terrorism from the country.
Foreign Secretary Johnson commended Pakistan’s economic reforms agenda, saying the country had great potential for economic growth.
He said the UK was hugely interested in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and would like to benefit from opportunities arising from the initiative.
The foreign secretary particularly appreciated Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts to bring about peace in the region and the world at large.
He said the UK greatly valued its friendship with Pakistan and was looking forward to further strengthening the ties.
The interior minister also held a meeting with UK’s Minister of State for Immigration Mrs Caroline Nokes, during which he specifically raised the problems being faced by Pakistani students and business people in getting British visas.
Mrs Caroline assured the minister that she would look into the matter and all possible facilitation would be extended to the Pakistani students and business people.
The two sides agreed that in order to enhance people to people and business to business linkages, visa
bottlenecks would be removed.
The minister also met John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and held a detailed discussion on bilateral cooperation in areas of economy and finance.
Earlier, the minister gave a talk at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), London. The topic was ‘Pakistan’s vision for the future’. The talk was attended by a select gathering of think tank notables, academia, policy influential, political analysts and members of the diplomatic community.
In his talk, Ahsan Iqbal dwelt upon Pakistan’s economic turnaround, improvement in security and regional situation.
The minister also addressed a press conference at the Pakistan High Commission in the evening, during which he highlighted the achievements of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government during the last four and a half years.
Ahsan Iqbal said due to the prudent policies, the government had put the country on the path of economic development.
He said the PML-N government not only revived the dormant and dead development projects, including Lowari Tunnel in Chitral (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Kachi Canal in Balochistan, Islamabad new airport, Lyari Expressway in Karachi and N-85 Motorway by allocating billions of rupees, but also launched new development and energy projects for the benefit and welfare of the people.
He said the vision of the PML-N government was to improve the quality of the life of the people, besides making Pakistan as one of the fastest growing and progressing economies in the world.
The minister termed his two-day visit to UK highly successful and productive. He also gave interviews to London-based international media outlets.
He said he had very useful interactions with the British leadership, Pakistani community, think tanks, British- Pakistani parliamentarians, and media.