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Prince William, Kate to arrive in Pakistan on Monday

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Islamabad | Monday, 2019 5:45:05 PM IST
The UK's Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton will arrive in Islamabad on Monday on a "historic" five-day visit to Pakistan.

The trip by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who will be accompanied by their three children, will be the first of its kind undertaken by any member of the British royal family to Pakistan in 13 years, Geo News reported.

In 2006, William's father Charles, the Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker-Bowles, had travelled to Pakistan to visit the areas devastated by the October 8, 2005 earthquake.

The other royal visits to Pakistan include two undertaken by Prince William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth (in 1961 and again in 1997), and three by his late mother, Princess Diana (1991, 1996 and 1997).

Prince William and Kate are scheduled to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi on Tuesday.

After meeting the Khan and Alvi, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Lahore on October 16, arriving a day later in Chitral.

The royal couple will return to the UK on October 18.

Earlier this month, Prince William and Kate said that they were excited to visit the "beautiful" country to meet its people and to experience its culture.

On the eve of the couple's arrival in the country, Thomas Drew, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, said on Sunday that the visit would showcase how Pakistan is "a forward looking country", The Express Tribune reported.

"Most importantly, they hope to meet as many Pakistanis as possible during the course of the visit," Drew said in a video message on Twitter.

"They are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the people of Pakistan," he added.

More than 1,000 police officials will secure the couple as they travel across the country in what Kensington Palace described as their most complex visit ever undertaken.

Britain is home to more than a million people of Pakistani origin, making it the largest Pakistani diaspora in Europe, Dawn news reported.

Bilateral trade was worth almost $4 billion in 2017, with the UK currently Pakistan's third-largest source of foreign investment after China and the Netherlands, according to Britain's Department of International Trade.

British Airways also resumed flights to Pakistan earlier this year after suspending operations due to security fears over a decade ago.

--IANS ksk

( 400 Words)

2019-10-14-11:54:05 (IANS)

 
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