British PM Cameron on Pakistan visit



Islamabad: British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived here on Tuesday morning on his first visit to Pakistan since becoming premier, with plans to open "a new chapter" in the relationship between the two sides.

Cameron, who became prime minister in May last year, will meet his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani, President Asif Ali Zardari and political leaders.

Cameron will focus on education, trade and national security in his discussions with the Pakistani leaders.

A statement issued by the British High Commission said that Cameron, during a speech to be given in Islamabad later this afternoon, will say: "I come here today to mark a new chapter in the relationship between our two countries. As President Zardari and I agreed when he visited Chequers last August, we want to deepen and enhance the unbreakable partnership between Pakistan and Britain.”

"The unbreakable partnership must not just be between our two governments. It must be between our peoples too... The links between our countries go deep. As Prime Minister in London, ensuring what's best for Britain means that I have a direct interest in seeing Pakistan succeed."

The British premier was presented a guard of honour by the Pakistani armed forces at the Prime Minister's House.

He was then introduced to the three service chiefs and members of the cabinet by Gilani.

Cameron is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Gilani. The visit comes nine months after Cameron angered Pakistan with remarks he made in the India about elements in the country promoting the "export of terror".

His predecessor Gordon Brown too had pressed Pakistan to act against militants responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. India and the US have blamed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba for the attacks.

PTI