Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday underscored the importance of the Pakistan-U.K. Enhanced Strategic Dialogue and proposed the development of a 10-year roadmap to advance bilateral ties in diverse fields.
In a phone call with British P.M. Boris Johnson, Sharif stressed that the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue should deepen mutual engagement and elevate the bilateral partnership to the next level. According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, he also appreciated the work undertaken by the U.K. to promote education, health and other social sectors in Pakistan.
Reiterating Pakistan’s desire to bolster its ties with the U.K. across various sectors, with a special emphasis on trade and investment partnership, Sharif highlighted the longstanding ties between both countries. He also appreciated the positive role played by 1.6 million Pakistani diaspora in “forging closer links and building bridges” between the two countries, noting that strengthening legal migration would help to fully realize this potential.
According to the statement, the U.K. prime minister reiterated his felicitations to Sharif over his election to the Prime Minister’s Office, and underlined the U.K.’s desire to further enhance its bilateral relationship with Pakistan. P.M. Sharif, likewise, extended his congratulations to the U.K. on the platinum jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. “Both leaders emphasized the importance of celebrating the 75th anniversary of establishment of Pakistan-U.K. diplomatic relations in a befitting manner,” it said, adding that Sharif had noted that ties between Pakistan and the U.K. were based on historical linkages and convergent interests on a broad range of issues.
Discussing the wider South Asian region, Pakistan’s prime minister underscored the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan, as well as the urgent need to scale up efforts to avert a humanitarian crisis. Stressing that the global community’s “constructive diplomatic and political engagement with the interim Afghan government” was vital for sustainable peace and stability, he called for the release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets to bring stability to the war-torn state’s economy. Conveying his government’s “deep appreciation” for Pakistan’s cooperation with the U.K. in evacuating people from Afghanistan, the British prime minister also exchanged views with Sharif on the Ukrainian conflict and other matters of mutual interest.
During their conversation, P.M. Sharif also highlighted grave violations of human rights in India-held Jammu and Kashmir and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment for the promotion of peace in the region. He also underscored the need to maintain strategic balance in the region. The Pakistani leader invited his British counterpart to visit Pakistan on mutually convenient dates. Both leaders agreed to remain in close contact, added the statement.