ISLAMABAD: The United Kingdom is looking to put new dynamism into its longstanding relations with Pakistan by bolstering trade, economic, security and cultural cooperation as it seeks to re-establish itself at the global stage ahead of exiting European Union (EU).
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was here earlier this week to lay the groundwork for rebooting of the relationship.
In an interview with Dawn, Mr Johnson said UK wanted to forge a new relationship with Pakistan.
“The message we want to get over is that UK is here for Pakistan, we are supportive of Pakistan, we understand many of the issues Pakistan faces and we are here to be useful and at the same time build bilateral economic relationship,” the British foreign secretary, who was on his first visit to Pakistan after assuming the office, said after his meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, which he described as “extremely friendly and supportive”.
Ever since the Brexit vote, the new UK government has been working to re-calibrate its foreign policy and placing a special emphasis on its old relationships in the region. Explaining the post-Brexit vote policy, Mr Johnson said UK “wants to be more outward looking, more energetic, and more engaged with the world”.
Emphasising the special position Pakistan enjoys in UK’s foreign policy calculus, the secretary, whose wife is of Pakistani heritage, said “the two per cent of our population that can trace its origin to this land creates an indissoluble bond”, which needed to be strengthened.