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October 19, 2019

Royal couple wraps up tour: Pak security work keeps people safe in UK, says William

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P
Pa
October 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Duke of Cambridge has stressed the importance of security in Pakistan in keeping people safe on “the streets of the UK”.

William and Kate had their Friday itinerary rearranged after a flight from Lahore to Islamabad on Thursday had to turn back due to a “pretty serious storm”. The couple visited Army Canine Centre in Rawalpindi as previously scheduled on the last day of their five-day tour, which was due to focus on security.

William told reporters at the centre that learning about security in the region had emphasised the importance of the relationship between the two nations. “A lot of effort, a lot of lives being lost by the Pakistanis in securing large parts of this country over the years and those sacrifices for the Pakistanis should be acknowledged,” he said.

“It’s been a huge, huge undertaking for them. The fact that we’re here today and witnessing UK-Pakistani security working together shows you how important it is and that, actually, what happens here in Pakistan directly correlates to what happens in the streets of the UK.”

The duke continued: “I think it’s really important that everyone back home in the UK realises that we have a far-ranging, far-reaching projection of what we’re doing and we’re involved with the Pakistanis for a very good reason. It will actually keep people safe back in the UK. What happens in Pakistan directly correlates to what happens back in the UK.”

William and Kate walked two golden Labrador puppies, called Sky and Salto, which are being trained as search dogs. British troops are currently supporting the Pakistan Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) programme, which in part breeds and trains dogs to identify explosive devices. It is modelled on the UK Defence Animal Training Centre at Melton Mowbray.

Home-made bombs and suicide attacks in Pakistan have killed thousands during the country’s battle with militancy and extremism.

On Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge concluded their five-day kaleidoscopic tour to Pakistan, carrying back home a bundle of fond memories featuring country’s vibrant culture, people and places.

Prince William and Kate Middleton who visited Islamabad, Chitral, Lahore and Rawalpindi held back-to-back activities including interaction with locals, raising awareness on topics of education, health and climate change, and attending an event on religious tolerance.

The couple’s last day activities were rescheduled after they were forced to stay overnight in Lahore as their Royal Air Force flight could not land at Nur Khan Air Base due to inclement weather on Thursday night, putting off plans of their visit to Big Ben Point at the iconic Khyber Pass.

The earlier days of the trip, however, offered the couple a true taste of Pakistan’s cultural and scenic beauty. The visit to Chitral was “cherry on the top” as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge witnessed the living 3,000-year-old Kalash civilization”, believed to be the descendents of Alexander The Great.

They explored the scenic beauty of magnificent Hindu Kush peaks, besides witnessing a melting Chiatibo Glacier hit by devastating effects of climate change. The other activities included visit to an Islamabad school, SOS orphan village, National Cricket Academy, Badshahi Mosque, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, besides a colourful reception at the Pakistan National Monument.

Kate Middleton’s choice of outfits in line with Pakistani traditional trio — kurta, trouser and shawl — was given prominence by the mainstream national media. She was admired for sporting with pride Kalash’s traditional brightly-coloured beaded cap with fuchsia plume, embroidered off-white gown and regimental headgear of Chitral Scouts.

The nation and media also cherished the 1991 visit of Prince William’s late mother Princess Diana to Chitral and Lahore as the royal couple made its first-ever visit to Pakistan.

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