British Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Tuesday paid tribute to Pakistan’s armed forces and appreciated their efforts in ensuring the security of the country.
She was addressing media after a meeting with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
“I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of the minister as well as Pakistan’s police and its armed forces in delivering significant improvements in security across the country over the last two years,” Rudd said.
Acknowledging that the country is still facing considerable challenges, Rudd added that the hard work of the forces had brought security not only to the people of Pakistan, but also to citizens of the United Kingdom.
“Pakistan has suffered more than most from the scourge of terrorism,” the home secretary said, adding that during discussions with the interior minister it had been agreed that both countries would work together to enhance their relationship in several areas.
Rudd said Pakistan and the UK had worked together to tackle challenges in terrorism, extremism and organised crime, but there is “more that remains to be done.”
She also announced that the special envoy to the British prime minister on counter-terrorism will be visiting Pakistan shortly to “expand cooperation [between the two countries] structured around Pakistan’s own National Action Plan.”
The home secretary said it was her hope that the two countries would see more co-operation on extradition and mutual legal assistance to ensure there is no escape from justice in either country.
Speaking in regard to aviation and border security, Rudd said Islamabad’s new airport will play an important role in the safe and secure movement of people between Pakistan and the UK.
“I am pleased we are supporting the airport’s development with training and expertise,” she added. “I am also pleased we are working together to tackle organised immigration crime.”
“We want to ensure our borders remain secure for the the many legitimate travellers that move between the two countries each year,” she added.
Addressing the press conference, the interior minister said that a range of issues was discussed during meetings with the home secretary.
The minister added that an agreement on immigration was inked along with a memorandum of understanding identifying areas of cooperation between Pakistan and the UK.
Nisar added that during talks, the two leaders had decided to hold ministerial meetings on an annual basis to discuss matters ranging from security, counter-terrorism, narcotics, immigration and organised crime.
“Pakistan has consistently and historically had a very good relation with the UK,” the minister said.
The minister said that he did not recall the two countries having any serious problems; only a “few roadblocks” that the countries would address within “limitations imposed by our systems and laws”.