Friday Dec 08, 2017
KARACHI: London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is currently on a goodwill visit to Pakistan to promote his ‘London is Open’ campaign, visited Quaid-e-Azam’s Mausoleum Friday morning after arriving in Karachi last night.
Speaking to the media after paying his respects at the Mausoleum, the mayor said he is proud to be visiting Karachi and that he has brought a message from London for everyone.
"London welcomes you all, for education, business, tourism. London is open," said Khan, adding that London is home to Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and people of all colours and races.
The London mayor attended an event at the city's Habib University later in the day, where he interacted with the students and answered their questions.
"We should speak with the public on all issues such as health, education and other social matters," he said, while emphasising the need for the youth to come forward and participate in politics.
Responding to a question, Khan acknowledged that there has been a rise in acid attacks during the year and said that steps are being taken to counter the situation.
An exhibition cricket match is set to be played at British Consulate in honour of the mayor's visit, which will also be attended by Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
Khan entered Pakistan from India via the Wagah Border Crossing on Wednesday and was received on the Pakistani side of the border by Mayor Lahore Col (retd) Mubashar Javed and senior government officials.
After entering Pakistan, the London mayor shared on social media that he is the first British politician to make the journey from India to Pakistan via Wagah Border. He is also the first London Mayor to visit Pakistan in over 70 years.
"Earlier today I crossed the border from India into Pakistan on foot - becoming the first British politician to make this journey in recent history.
As I visit the vibrant cities of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad this week, I’m looking forward to deepening the bonds between London and Pakistan....." he posted on Instagram.
Khan met with Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif and visited the historical Badshahi Mosque.
He also met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Speaking at an event related to his 'London is Open' campaign at Al Hamra Arts Council on Wednesday, Khan said he welcomes the people of Pakistan to his city.
“Pakistanis are welcome to come to London to study and work. Many successful Londoners who are scientists, teachers, and business owners are Pakistanis.”
He said that he hopes for good deals, friendships, and partnerships and added that London's citizens have rejected the process of hatred and divide. "Better trade terms will be formed in coming years between Pakistan and London."
"After celebrating 70 years of Pakistan this year, I look forward to the next 70 years to celebrate the friendship between London and Pakistan."
"The main reason I am here is to spread the message that London is Open for business, friendship, and trade,” he said while speaking to the media in Lahore. "I love Pakistan and am aware of the challenges faced by the country."
After the event, Sadiq Khan thanked Lahore mayor for hosting a cultural event on London mayor's arrival.