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Pakistan minister keen on resuming PIA flights to UK

Foreign minister Ishaq Dar is keen about an early resumption of PIA flights to the UK given the large Pakistani diaspora there

FILE PHOTO: Passengers board a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight at the airport in Kabul on September 13, 2021. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shajil Kumar

PAKISTAN foreign minister Ishaq Dar held telephonic talks with his British counterpart David Cameron on Monday (25) and stressed the need for early resumption of flights of Pakistan’s national carrier to the United Kingdom.

The UK and several other countries suspended Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flights in 2020 due to concerns about the authenticity of pilot licences.

Pakistan’s former aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had disclosed in Parliament that 262 pilots, including 141 of the PIA, held fake credentials.

Dar said that PIA flights would help “bolster linkages” between the two nations, the foreign office said. The minister had on Saturday said the flights will resume in a matter of weeks.

Dar received a call from foreign secretary Cameron and during the conversation, he requested early resumption of PIA flights “given the large Pakistani diaspora in the United Kingdom,” it said.

He thanked Cameron for his felicitations on the former assuming office, saying he looked forward to working closely with the UK leadership to strengthen the bilateral relations.

Dar stressed the need to enhance bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, people-to-people contacts and climate matters.

The two ministers also discussed regional issues, including Afghanistan, and the situation in Gaza.

Dar also invited Cameron to visit Pakistan on mutually convenient dates.

He also reiterated the importance of the Pakistan-UK relationship, and wanted “early conclusion of the Enhanced Strategic Partnership agreement to take relations to the next level”. (PTI)

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