UK wants Pakistan, India to resolve disputes through talks: Lord Tariq

ISLAMABAD: Britain’s Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, has said his country has good ties with Pakistan and India, and would like both of these countries to resolve their differences via sustained dialogue and engagement.

“Britain counts South Asian countries as it’s friends and partners; and as far as Pakistan and India are concerned, it’s important they start talking and establishing economic links which would benefit both the nations,” Lord Tariq Ahmed said during an exclusive interview with Geo News Television.

Lord Tariq Ahmad, who is also Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, said Britain is a friend of Pakistan and India, it would like to help wherever it could.

The UK state minister said his country was providing life-saving clean water, sanitation and shelter to over 55,000 vulnerable people in Pakistan to help them recover from devastating floods. “Like everyone in the UK, I have been saddened to see the heart-breaking images of the flooding in Pakistan. The UK stands with Pakistan, ready to help, as entire communities have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones.”

Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon said the £800,000 UK (Rs170 million) aid package will be given through the National Disaster Consortium (NDC) and will provide immediate relief in rural Sindh to many who have lost their homes.

The UK aid, he said will ensure life-saving clean water, sanitation and shelter gets to those who need it most. “The recent monsoon flooding serves as a stark reminder of how devastating natural disasters can be – and the dangers of climate change.”

Lord Tariq Ahmad said during his first virtual visit to Pakistan as a Minister of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, he also launched a year of climate action from the British High Commission ahead of COP26, which will save lives, create jobs and protect the environment.

The UK minister also virtually visited a UK-funded girls’ education programme in South Punjab. He said the UK has committed to ensuring every girl gets 12 years of quality education, and in Pakistan, the UK has supported nearly 8 million girls to attend primary and secondary school.

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