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Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s Cabinet Minister and Chairperson of the Conservative Party called on Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, today. They discussed matters of mutual interest.

The Foreign Minister appreciated Baroness Warsi’s efforts towards enhancing Pakistan-UK relations in diverse areas. Regarding her as “a great asset for Pakistan”, the Foreign Minister said that Baroness Warsi was a role model not only for British-Pakistanis but also for Pakistani women. It was commendable that she continued to maintain her strong bonds with the country of her origin while working tirelessly for Britain.

The Foreign Minister and Baroness Warsi agreed that the Pakistan-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue provided an important vehicle to promote Pakistan-UK relations to the mutual benefit of the two countries. It was emphasized that all possible efforts should be made to increase the bilateral trade between the two countries to £ 2.5 billion by 2015, as was agreed by Prime Minister Gilani and Prime Minister Cameron during the latter’s visit to Pakistan in April 2011. They agreed that the presence of over 100 British companies in Pakistan was testimony to enormous lucrative business and investment opportunities in the country.

The Foreign Minister briefed Baroness Warsi about different aspects of Pakistan’s foreign policy, including the recent developments in Pakistan-US relations, Afghanistan and Pakistan-EU relations. It was underlined that Pakistan had always practiced its foreign policy on the basis of principles and the parliamentary process currently underway to formulate new terms of engagement with the US would go a long way in strengthening parliamentary practices and democracy in Pakistan.

The Foreign Minister commended the contributions being made by British-Pakistanis in strengthening Pakistan-UK ties, as a living bridge between the two countries. The Foreign Minister said that she was looking forward to interacting with members of the Pakistani diaspora during her next visit to the UK.

11 January 2012

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