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UK-PAKISTAN RELATIONS.

UK-Pakistan enjoy warm relations in various spheres, including trade, education, development assistance, disaster management, climate change, industrial cooperation, etc.

The British Foreign Office says its mission is "to secure constructive Pakistani engagement with the international and regional security agendas, to support sustainable development, democracy and human rights in Pakistan, to improve UK economic interests and to provide high-quality public services."

Both the countries reached a new level of cooperation when Pakistan launched a large-scale military offensive against militant groups. Since its independence, Pakistan has been an active member of the Commonwealth of Nations, an association of 54 sovereign countries, most of them former British colonies.

Pakistan opted out of the Commonwealth from 1972 to 1989, because the forum had officially recognised Bangladesh as an independent state. Pakistan's membership of the Commonwealth was suspended when its democratically elected government was overthrown by the military in October 1999, but its membership was restored in May 2008.

A large number of Pakistanis go to the UK for employment, education and for permanent settlement. As of 2011, more than 1.1 million Pakistanis live in the UK, making it the top destination of Pakistani immigrants. In 2012, the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries reached Pound 1.4 billion. By 2015, some 1.3 million Pakistanis had acquired microfinance loans, provided through the UK Aid and DFID.

The UK has helped some 270,000 women in Pakistan get their computerized national identity card (CNIC). In Pakistan, more than 1 million children get primary education and some 5.2 million families get financial support from the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), which is partly funded by the UK. As of 2015, almost 1 million births were attended to by trained midwives and medical professionals, who were supported by the UK.

As of 2015, the UK government supported nearly 6.3 million school children in getting primary education.

Recently, the UK has quadrupled Chevening scholarships for Pakistan, offering its students more opportunities to get quality higher education at British universities.

The UK-backed Counterterrorism Associated Prosecution Reform Initiative (CAPRI) has significantly increased the overall conviction rate in terrorism related cases in Pakistan. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, this conviction rate has increased from 3 per cent to over 30 per cent and from 5 per cent to more than 50 per cent in Punjab.

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Publication:South Asia
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 30, 2016
Words:433
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