ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said British parliamentarians of Pakistani origin could play a very important role in further cementing the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Britain.
He said bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Britain was rooted in history and could help enormously in dispelling misperceptions arising out of some unfortunate incidents. The president said this during his meeting with the member of British Parliament Barrister Rehman Chishti at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Barrister Chishti, British Conservative politician elected MP for Gillingham and Rainham in the 2010 general election, was born in Muzaffarabad. He has also served as Special Adviser to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Matters relating to Pak-UK bilateral relations and Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD), role of Pakistani immigrants in UK, war against militants and the current regional situation and Pakistan’s efforts for greater trade access in the EU were discussed during the meeting.
President Zardari said one million strong Pakistani community in the United Kingdom with seven in the House of Common and four in the House of Lords served as a strong bridge between the two countries and could play an invaluable role in not only promoting and further strengthening the existing equation but also help removing misperceptions between the communities that arise due to some unfortunate incidents.
He said with strong relations that were rooted in the history, it was important to work closely for taking advantage of each other’s resources and to deal with the issues of mutual concern.
He said Pakistan considered UK as a close friend and partner and it was important that the momentum generated as a result of Enhanced Strategic Dialogue was sustained.
Zardari said economic stability was crucial for Pakistan, as “we were passing through difficult times”. “We need greater market access and investment especially from our partners as our economy has received major jolts from the conflict in Afghanistan, scourge of terrorism and unprecedented natural calamities,” he said.
He called upon Barrister Chishti to urge British investors and businessmen to take advantage of the investment-friendly policies of Pakistan.
Barrister Chishti thanked the president for meeting and assured the British government’s continued support for the government and people of Pakistan.
He also condoled with the president over the martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto, expressing his profound grief over the tragedy.