LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and his British counterpart Boris Johnson on Monday spoke about relations between the two countries, the Afghan peace process, COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
PM Imran Khan, in a telephone conversation with the British premier, thanked Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his thoughtful video message for the World Environment Day event held in Islamabad last week.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed the hope that Pakistan and the UK will be able to forge stronger ties in the future, particularly in trade and investment.
A press released issued by PM Officer, said that the premier lauded the British leader for his efforts in “effectively combating COVID-19 pandemic in the UK”.
PM Johnson was also briefed on the steps taken by Pakistan to tackle the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also urged the British premier to revisit his government’s decision of placing Pakistan on the red list of travel ban countries.
“On Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated Pakistan’s support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. The Prime Minister reiterated his longstanding stance that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a negotiated political solution was the only way forward,” read the press release.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also briefed his British counterpart on Pakistan’s progress in strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism framework. He urged that the FATF members should recognise Pakistan’s achievements in complying with FATF benchmarks.
Boris Johnson expresses condolences over Ghotki train crash
On the other hand a hand out issued by the Downing Street, said that PM Johnson expressed condolences with Pm Imran over the “tragic loss of life” in the train crash that killed over 45 and injured 100 in Sindh’s Ghotki.
“Prime Minister [Boris Johnson] began by expressing his condolences following the tragic loss of life in the train crash in Sindh,” said a press release issued by the UK government.
The press release said that the two PMs discussed the current situation in Afghanistan. It said that both agreed that there is a “need to ensure a long-term future of peace and stability” in the war-torn country.
“The UK would continue to use the diplomatic and development tools at our disposal to support the Government of Afghanistan,” PM Johnson told his Pakistani counterpart.
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Imran Khan also covered the need to take action to cut carbon emissions and protect biodiversity ahead of the UK-hosted COP26 Summit later this year,” said the press release.
The UK government’s handout said that the British premier also congratulated PM Imran on the “success of the UN World Environment Day event, which Pakistan hosted with the UN” last week.”
The handout stated that both the PMs also discussed the coronavirus pandemic and agreed to “work together to defeat the pandemic” in their countries and around the world.
PM Imran likely to visit UK next month
On the other hand, sources within the British government told Geo News that PM Imran is likely to visit London next month on an official visit and also to watch the cricket match between Pakistan and England.
A source in the government confirmed that both the UK and Pakistan administrations are finalising the visit plan.
The source said that PM Imran may watch Pakistan play against England either in Cardiff on July 8 or in London at Lord’s on July 10.
This will be Imran Khan’s first visit to the UK as prime minister.
Apart from the cricket match, the PM is also expected to hold separate meetings with British parliamentarians and ministers.