Another British team to visit Pakistan next week: Miliband

January 8th, 2008 - 12:24 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto

London, Jan 8 (ANI): British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said that a team of cross UK government experts would travel to Pakistan next week for further consultations.
Making a statement on Pakistan on the floor of the House of Commons on Monday, he said that this would be a precursor to further British move to deepen its counter-terrorism relationships with Pakistan.
Miliband mentioned that a team of the UK police was already in Pakistan to help in the investigation of the murder of PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto.
He described Pakistan as a key ally in the war on terrorism, and said this was the reason why the British Government was committed to using all its assets in helping the country on the path to peaceful and prosperous development.
Condemning the tragic assassination of Bhutto, Miliband said the targets of her assassins were those committed to democracy in Pakistan and it was vital that they did not succeed.
“The deadly attack on Bhutto show terrorism to be a threat to Pakistan and not just to the West,” he said.
Miliband also spelt out four British goals and aims with regard to Pakistan, including to ensure that the circumstances of Bhuttos death were established properly, to promote free and fair elections, to improve counter-terrorism cooperation and to ensure that the British citizens of the Pakistani heritage and were informed about the developments.
Miliband said the next five weeks would be important and so would be the next five years and beyond, during which the economic, social and political developments in Pakistan needed to proceed hand in hand with the international support.
He pointed out that the UK had continued to stress the Pakistan government on their responsibility to create a level playing field under which credible and transparent elections could take place.
“This means that all the remaining political detainees needs to be released and the remaining restriction on the media needs to be lifted,” Miliband added.
Miliband said the EU planned to send a full-scale election observation mission, while the American Republican Institute might also be sending its observer.
He expressed the hope that Pakistan would also allow observers from the Commonwealth, The News reported. (ANI)

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