Permanent Secretary United Kingdom (UK) Home Office, Mathew Rycroft.

Islamabad, 18 November 2021 (TDI): Permanent Secretary United Kingdom (UK) Home Office, Mathew Rycroft paid an official two-day visit to Pakistan.

The visit was centered on a discussion of the UK Home Office’s new enhanced immigration system, enhancing operational cooperation between the two countries, and tackling shared threats.

Engagements in Pakistan

The Permanent Secretary took part in several engagements in Pakistan. These include:

Visit to Bahia University

During his visit to Pakistan, the British representative Mathew Rycroft visited Bahira University Islamabad. He apprised the students about UK’s new immigrant system.

The new immigration system provides opportunities for Pakistani students to study, work and live in the UK. It supports the brightest talent and opens multiple avenues for students. He informed the students that they will be able to take advantage of the new graduation route which will also provide an opportunity to enter into skill roles in the UK job market.

Meeting with Foreign Secretary

Permanent Secretary Mathew Rycroft also held a meeting with Foreign Secretary (FS) of Pakistan, Sohail Mahmood.

The meeting marked a discussion of bilateral relations between Pakistan and the UK. FS Sohail Mahmood reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to comprehensively enhance bilateral Pak-UK ties.

Both officials also exchanged views on developments in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Secretary apprised Mathew Rycroft about Pakistan’s efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan has opened a humanitarian corridor and is frequently providing humanitarian aid to Kabul, in the form of food and medical supplies.

The Foreign Secretary also informed the British official about Pakistan’s successful conduct of evacuation operations from Kabul, post-US withdrawal.

Both officials pledged to further diversify and solidify bilateral ties between Pakistan and United Kingdom.

Meeting with Interior Secretary

Additionally, Permanent Secretary Mathew Rycroft visited Interior Ministry and associated agencies. He held a meeting with Pakistan’s Interior Secretary, Yousaf Khokhar. Both officials discussed matters of mutual interest.

Interior Secretary, Yousaf Khokhar (L), UK Permanent Secretary Home Office Mathew Rycroft (R).

The British representative discussed challenges affecting operational cooperation between the two countries. The officials also identified areas to expand cooperation, especially in criminal justice.

Concerning Afghanistan, Mathew Rycroft shared his concerns about security issues including narcotics, human trafficking, and illicit financing.

Additionally, the Permanent Secretary thanked Pakistan for hosting the trip. He also desired enhanced collaboration with the Government of Pakistan.

Pakistan and United Kingdom share cordial diplomatic relations. The 1.6 million Pakistani diasporas in the UK is the cornerstone of this relationship. These people-to-people linkages bridge relations between the two countries. Moreover, officials from both sides frequently exchange visits.

This is the second visit of a senior British official in Pakistan in the last three months. Earlier in September, Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom visited Pakistan. Likewise, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister also visited Britain in September 2021.

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