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January 5, 2009
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‘Friends of Pakistan’ from UK Parliament due next week

Newspost

January 5, 2009

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Islamabad

Pakistan’s Ambassador at Large Javed Malik is organising a visit of the British Members of Parliament (MPs), and a delegation comprising MPs James Devine, Mark Fisher, James McGovern and Mohammed Sarwar would arrive here next week.

“This visit is part of the wide-ranging public diplomacy efforts,” said Javed Malik in an exclusive talk with APP here Sunday.

Javed is working towards promoting a positive image of the country and fostering diplomatic support for Pakistan across the globe, particularly among the countries comprising the ‘Friends of Pakistan’ group through various activities aimed at people-to-people contacts.

The visit comes at a time when India is engaged in an aggressive and negative propaganda against Pakistan, and it is expected that the British MPs would extend vocal support to Pakistan. “We have arranged the visit of these British legislators to Pakistan as a way to muster diplomatic support for the country,” said Javed Malik.

This is part of a series of visits being planned and other influential personalities expected to visit Pakistan. In this context, Lord Nazir Ahmed was also here last week, and Javed Malik accompanied him on meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

“In addition to their official meetings with the country’s leadership, we will also create opportunities for members of civil society, academics, students, and media to interact with the British Parliamentarians with a view to promote a better understanding of Pakistan and its people,” said Ambassador Javed Malik.

The ambassador will also organise an international conference in Islamabad in which the British MPs will address a specially invited audience of Islamabad’s civil society.

The Conference is aimed at raising awareness on the challenges being faced by Pakistan, and highlighting the opportunities that a

democratic Pakistan creates for the world community.

It will also call on the world community to support Pakistan in its vision for a democratic and progressive direction.

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