Brexit to open new doors for Pakistan: Lesley Craig Ample opportunities in new and safe Pakistan: Nafees

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Nation special report

LONDON: “Pakistan and Britain enjoy cordial, closer and trust worthy relations and these would grow further with the passage of time. Brexit will give another opportunity to enhance trade between the two countries”. This was stated by Ms. Lesley Craig, senior representative of Foreign Office while addressing a reception event hosted by Pak envoy Mohammad Nafees Zakaria to mark the Pakistan Day here at Pakistan House on Wednesday evening.

A large number of members of British, Pakistani and Kashmiri diasporas, Parliamentarians and senior diplomats participated in the celebration.

She said that following the exit from European Union, Britain would like to look at Pakistan which is a good market to enhance trade and commercial relations. “Pakistan will get new sources of trade and Britain would be happy to develop these relations”, she added.

Lesley Craig said; “There is very soft and warm place in her heart for Pakistan and Pakistan is very dear country to her. I still remember those memorable days when I went to Pakistan to assume my responsibilities as young diplomat.

“Pakistani community is very active in various sections of life in Britain and is not behind even in political field as 12 members of Pak heritage are the members of both the houses of Parliament which is a matter great privilege and honour”, she referred.

FCO Senior Official, Ms Lesley Craig, who delivered the government’s message for the occasion, said that Pakistan and UK have growing and extraordinary ties which are becoming stronger with the passage of time as they share their partnership. British Pakistanis make huge contribution to all areas of life in UK including in Parliament, business, culture and education. She mentioned several high level visits from UK to Pakistan in recent past and many more planned for the future which show strong bilateral relations. Ms. Craig said that resumption of British Airways to Pakistan shows great confidence in the country and would help many more people to visit UK and Pakistan and build the links.

Ms Craig said that that in the backdrop of Brexit, UK was looking at the opportunities to deepen its ties with Pakistan. She said that UK sees Pakistan as a great place for doing business and investment.

Mentioning the educational ties, Ms Craig said that over the last five years more than 33,000 Pakistanis have studied in the UK. At the end of last year, the two countries jointly launched Education Gateway, an initiative that focuses on building partnerships to develop research and how to tackle significant challenges which face both the countries, she added.

Ms Craig also said that the UK looks forward to welcoming Pakistan Cricket Team to the World Cup being held in the UK this year.

She, on behalf of the UK Government and the people, conveyed best wishes to all Pakistanis on the National Day. The Pakistan Day Reception is the biggest national event of the calendar of the High Commission