UK in Pakistan » The British High Commission Islamabad

Celebrating St Andrew’s Day in Pakistan

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For many here in Pakistan, Scotland needs no introduction, with its vibrant Pakistani communities and the links between Scotland and Pakistan in higher education and business.I was delighted that my first big event as the new British High Commissioner to Pakistan after I arrived in January was to host a Burns Night party.  Haggis being piped into the Residence garden by bagpipers from the Pakistan Army was the highlight of … Read more »Celebrating St Andrew’s Day in Pakistan

The shame of violence against women

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The 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women, began from 25 November. According to a 2011 poll of experts by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Pakistan is the third most dangerous country for women in the world. More than 1,000 women and girls are murdered in honour killings every year. 90 percent of Pakistani women suffer from some form of domestic violence. Victims are often reluctant to speak up … Read more »The shame of violence against women

Shaping the future: What matters to young Pakistanis

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Ayesha* is nine years old, Ali* is eight. They live at the SOS Village in Rawalpindi, Islamabad’s Twin (although, in reality, much bigger) neighbouring City. They are two of around 100 young boys and girls who, for whatever reason, have no one to look after them at home and who are now cared for by the SOS volunteers. Here, they live in new families, receive an education – and hope … Read more »Shaping the future: What matters to young Pakistanis

WW1 Centenary – Pakistan’s Right to Commemorate

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This is my first blog for the High Commission and a quick look at the archives tells me that it’s the first time in a long time that a member of the Defence Team has rolled up his sleeves and ‘put fingers to keyboard’. So when Alison Blake, our Deputy High Commissioner, asked me to write this blog, I jumped at the chance to put our team on the scoreboard. … Read more »WW1 Centenary – Pakistan’s Right to Commemorate

A childhood for every child

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One of the themes running through my work during my time in Pakistan has been supporting the courageous women and men working for women’s empowerment and equality and an end to violence against women in Pakistan. Violent conflict is perhaps the greatest “anti-development” driver a country can face. Pakistan has not only suffered 40-50,000 deaths from terrorism in the past decade, its economy has been stunted and its social and … Read more »A childhood for every child

50 Days to Go: NATO Summit in Wales 2014

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Pakistan has been invited to join leaders, senior ministers and Defence Chiefs from around 60 countries at the NATO summit in Wales in early September. The summit is planned to be the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in Britain. The summit comes as NATO draws down in Afghanistan, its longest ever mission, against the sombre backdrop of events in Ukraine. The summit’s theme “Stronger together: Building … Read more »50 Days to Go: NATO Summit in Wales 2014

Improving trade is the key to Pakistan’s prosperity

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When I first arrived in Pakistan, I said that strengthening trade and investment between the UK and Pakistan is my top priority. British Prime Minister Cameron and Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif, in their last meeting in London, pledged to increase bilateral trade and investment between our two countries to £3 billion by the end of 2015. A revised Trade and Investment Roadmap sets out to further the trade and investment … Read more »Improving trade is the key to Pakistan’s prosperity

Pakistan – A Prime Minister in London

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A year ago today, Pakistan went to the polls to elect a new Government.  Some 50 million Pakistanis turned out to vote.  They made a statement about the future they want for their country – a future based on democracy and accountability through the ballot box.  We went on to see the first ever full democratic transition in the country’s history – with one democratically elected Government and President handing … Read more »Pakistan – A Prime Minister in London

The Sports Connection

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The Asia Cup has just started and cricket fever is in the air. During Pakistan’s opening match in the series, I was intrigued to see how many of my Pakistani acquaintances were glued to their TV sets, constantly updating their Twitter feeds and Facebook statuses. Wins and losses do not keep the Pakistani cricket fan away from the game! Of course, cricket is not just a ‘sport’ in Pakistan – … Read more »The Sports Connection

My first impressions of Pakistan

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Let me start by saying that I am honoured and proud to have been appointed as the British High Commissioner to Pakistan. I believe I have got one of the best jobs in the British Diplomatic Service. The country is also close to my heart. I have some very old connections with Pakistan. My grandfather was in the Punjab Rifles in Rawalpindi, Quetta and Karachi in the 1920s and 1930s … Read more »My first impressions of Pakistan