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PR No. 61 Islamabad

High Commissioner meets Pakistani community in Birmingham
Pakistan to continue political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris
H.E. Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK met the Pakistani
community at the Consulate of Pakistan Birmingham on 5 August 2016. The
attendees comprised mainly of Mayors, Coucilllors, business persons, media
representatives and professionals from various fields i.e. doctors, engineers,
solicitors and accountants. Khalid Mehmood MP also attended the event, says a press release received here today from London.

The High Commissioner presented an overview of the state of economy, energy
situation and security environment of the country and apprised the audience of
Government of Pakistan’s efforts to address these challenges. He stated:
“Under  the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan has pursued a
forward looking reform agenda which has brought about economic turn around.
All major credit rating agencies have upgraded Pakistan’s sovereign ratings.
Recently, Pakistan has been reclassified from Frontier Market to Emerging
Market status, which is yet another testimony of the confidence of the international
financial institutions in Pakistan’s economy and its potential as investment
destination. China has committed to invest around $46 billion into the
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is considered to be the game
changer  and is expected to bring vast economic opportunities in the region.”

Speaking on the security situation in the country, the High Commissioner said
that due to great sacrifices of the people and security forces of Pakistan,
peace is returning to Pakistan. Similarly, law and order situation in Karachi
has improved significantly, added the High Commissioner.

The High Commissioner condemned the ongoing atrocities committed by the Indian
security forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), and urged the
international community to take notice of the human rights violations of the
people of IOK. He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to provide political, moral
and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir for their rightful cause of
self-determination.

Speaking on the regional regional situation, the High Commissioner emphasized
meaningful dialogue with India to resolve outstanding issues, including the
core issue of Kashmir. Similarly, he underlined the importance of effective border
management between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The High Commissioner also
reiterated Pakistan’s stance on return of over three million Afghan refugees
to their own country in view of the improved security environment there.

On Pakistan-UK bilateral relations, the High Commissioner said that the two
countries have excellent ties which are further cemented by strong Pakistani
diaspora in the UK. He noted that after Brexit, the UK is reaching out to
various countries in order to diversify its economy which offers good
opportunities for Pakistani businesses. The High Commissioner urged the
community to be law abiding citizens of the UK which would bring good name to
Pakistan. He reassured the attendees that Pakistan is on the move and despite
challenges things are improving all around in a positive direction.

The High Commissioner extended Independence Day felicitations to the  the
community in advance and invited them to take part in the efforts of the High
Commission to celebrate the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan next
year  in a befitting manner.

At the end, there was a Q&A session in which the High Commissioner responded
to the questions of the audience. Members of the community appreciated the
efforts of the High Commission and its Consulates for improved consular services and
acquiring the new building for the Birmingham Consulate las year which has
provided great comfort to the visitors. Consul Syed Maroof Ahmed moderated the
event.

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