| GEO Pakistan|
| Miliband lauds Pak-US strategic partnership|
| Updated at: 2316 PST, Thursday, April 08, 2010|
LONDON: British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said both his country and Pakistan enjoy a very positive and mutually supportive relationship, which would continue in future as well.
Talking to the media during his visit to the Islamic Centre in Tooting, south west London on Thursday to support the re-election of Labour MP Sadiq Khan, he said this relationship has burnished and nurtured under the Labour Government.
Responding to a question on Kashmir, he said the UK position on the issue has been absolutely clear. “We support strong and improved relations between Pakistan and India and it is up to them to decide the matter through bilateral dialogues.”
Answering another question, the Foreign Secretary said there would be no cut in international aid even though the Labour Government has said that on winning May 6 general elections the public spending would be curtailed to reduce deficit.
“We are absolutely committed to meet the UN target of 0.7 per cent of national income going to the international development.”
He spoke of the 665 million pounds assistance being provided by Britain over the next four years to alleviate poverty in Pakistan through improvement in education and health facilities.
The Foreign Secretary said the UK Government, ahead of a crucial EU conference later this month, is backing Pakistan’s entry to a trade scheme which can bring benefits to it of around 250 million Euros a year.
Miliband rejected impression that vast majority of British Muslims are radicalised. On the contrary he said they are proud and committed British citizens who are getting education, jobs and totally committed to their community.
“The radicalisation is among a small minority. The vast bulk of British Muslims are proud, committed, law abiding British citizens and we should celebrate for them.”
Earlier, addressing the community leaders, he lauded Pakistan-US strategic partnership and said this will help the South Asian country to tackle the issue of extremism and at the same time provide much needed economic assistance to revive Pakistan’s economy.
“Pakistan-US relationship is absolutely key. The two countries have forged a new security and economic relationship. We are very much and supportive of Pakistan economically, socially, economically and security wise,” he said.