PR No. 228 Islamabad: April 26, 2016
Expressing satisfaction over the state of Pak-UK bilateral relations, Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan underscored the need for taking the bilateral relationship a notch higher by enhancing mutual cooperation in all possible areas in order to further tap the existing potential for cooperation between the two countries.
This he said while talking to his British counterpart Ms. Theresa May here in London today.
The two leaders discussed a host of issues ranging from cooperation in counter-terrorism, illegal immigration, organized crimes, counter narcotics, money laundering, Dr. Imran Farooq murder case and other issues of mutual interest.
The British Home Secretary underlined the importance of regular exchange of views on security cooperation and other areas. The Interior Minister remarked that such high level visits provide momentum to the efforts aimed at further strengthening bilateral relations and enhancing mutual cooperation.
At the outset, British Home Secretary expressed her condolences over the loss of precious lives as a result of terrorist attack in Lahore. Secretary May appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in fight against terrorism and assured Britain’s support to Pakistan in this regard.
Recalling the deteriorated law & order situation back in 2013, the Interior Minister said that as a result of continuous efforts by our armed forces and law enforcement agencies, the overall security situation has significantly improved today. The government remains fully committed to denying space to these desperate elements to target innocent citizens and further their ulterior terrorist agenda.
Discussing measures to further increase cooperation in counter-terrorism, it was agreed that a joint team comprising of British counter-terrorism experts, NACTA and officials from Ministry of Interior would be constituted and UK would help in further strengthening of Joint Intelligence Directorate by sharing of expertise and knowledge.
On the issue of organized crimes, the Interior Minister said that Pakistan looks towards UK for greater cooperation in dealing with organized crimes and fighting the menace of drug trafficking in the region. He said that lack of agreement or treaty on extradition between the two countries will not in any way deter Pakistan from cooperating with the U.K. in targeting and rooting out every form of international crimes.
Discussing the issue of illegal immigration, the Interior Minister while highlighting various measures taken recently against illegal human trafficking, observed that Pakistan acknowledges the concerns of European countries regarding illegal migrations and is following zero-tolerance policy in this regard and considers it an inhuman exploitation of deprived and poor tiers of the Pakistani society by the human trafficking mafia. The British Home Secretary appreciated various efforts being made by Government of Pakistan especially the policy followed vis-à-vis returnees from UK and said that UK would soon send its team to Pakistan to assist the immigration authorities in formulating a more effective mechanism to check illegal migrations from the country.
The Minister also took up with his British counterpart the issue of visas for students, officials and business community of Pakistan. He said that Pakistanis intending to travel to Britain are facing extreme difficulties and inordinate delays in the acquisition of visas. The businessmen of Pakistan are particularly feeling the brunt of this tightening of visa regime. Ms. Theresa May assured the Interior Minister that Home Department will work with the Pakistan High Commission in London and the Authorities in Islamabad in addressing issues related to visas.
Ongoing cooperation between the investigation agencies of the two countries in money laundering cases and Dr. Imran Farooq murder case also came under discussion. It was agreed that the investigation agencies from the two countries will visit each other’s country to carry forward the investigation in an independent and transparent manner and in line with the respective laws of the two countries.