ISLAMABAD, Jan 24 (APP):Lauding the British government’s decision with regard to revising travel advisory for Pakistan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Friday termed the development ‘vital’ to reinforce bilateral ties between the two countries and boost tourism activities in Pakistan.

“Pakistan is now open to the world, with peaceful and welcoming environment,” she said in a meeting here with British High Commissioner (HC) to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner.

Pakistan, she said, highly valued its relations with the United Kingdom (UK), which were based on historical linkages and shared perceptions on a broad range of regional and international issues.

High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner informed the SAPM that the UK had announced to revise its travel advisory for Pakistan, paving the way for enhanced travel and connectivity between the two countries.

“I have been to the UNESCO sites and amazed to see the tourism potential of Pakistan,” the HC said, adding credit went to the Government of Pakistan under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan for ensuring better security conditions in the country.

Dr Firdous emphasized the need for sustained engagement with the United Kingdom in the fields of information and media exchanges.

She also sought the UK’s assistance in capacity building and training of media persons in general and media officials of Pakistan Television and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, besides the advancement of technology in these organizations.

She said the present democratic government believed in freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan and would continue to facilitate the growth of free and responsible media in the country.

She said the government was focusing on women empowerment, social and youth development.

Dr Firdous also apprised the High Commissioner about grave human rights violations being committed by Indian security forces in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).

She said the British government, being an influential member of international community, should play its role for the just solution of Jammu and Kashmir issue in accordance with the United Nations resolutions and the aspirations of the IOJ&K people.

The HC agreed with the SAPM’s proposal to engage media as an effective tool to promote bilateral relations between the UK and Pakistan.

He said operation of 25 direct flights from Pakistan to the United Kingdom was the manifestation of deep relations between the two countries. The HC also dilated on the role of British Council and DFID (Department for International Development) in education, health and social sectors of Pakistan.

The SAPM appreciated the DFID’s role in furthering health and social sectors of Pakistan.
The meeting was also attended by Secretary Information and Broadcasting, and other senior officials.