In meeting with King Charles, UK PM, Shehbaz proposes joint commission for bilateral relations

Premier calls on Commonwealth leaders to mark King Charles' coronation as "dawn of new era"

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (right) shakes hands with United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on May 5, 2023. — PMO
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (right) shakes hands with United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on May 5, 2023. — PMO

  • PM congratulates King Charles, UK PM on excellent arrangements.
  • British leaders express interest in strengthening bilateral relations.
  • PM asks Commonwealth leaders to mark coronation as "dawn of new era".

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met King Charles III and United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Friday ahead of the highly anticipated coronation ceremony.

The premier congratulated both the king and the prime minister for what he termed excellent arrangements for the elaborate two-day coronation ceremony.

PM Shehbaz said Pakistan and the UK needed to enhance bilateral relations and proposed that a joint commission led by leaders from both countries be formed for the purpose, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.

During the meeting, the premier also expressed his gratitude for the UK's generous assistance in the aftermath of last year's devastating floods that put a third of the country under water.

For their part, both the king and Sunak expressed interest in strengthening bilateral relations. They also praised the UK's Pakistani community for its role in the country's development, the statement said.

Separately, the prime minister also attended a meeting of leaders from Commonwealth countries. In his address, PM Shehbaz called on the leaders to mark King Charles III's accession to the throne as "the dawn of a new era and the opening of new vistas and fresh avenues for the remarkable family of nations known as the Commonwealth".

He also urged the leaders to reimagine and reinvigorate the Commonwealth and infuse it with ever greater synergy and an even stronger sense of purpose, the PMO statement said.

During his address, the premier also spoke about the government's efforts to equip the country's youth and provide them with opportunities; to empower women; and mainstream marginalised youth, religious and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and the transgender community.

King Charles III's coronation

Some 2,000 guests, including global royalty and world leaders, will be at Saturday's event in central London, with huge crowds lining the route to and from Buckingham Palace.

More than 29,000 police officers will take part in one of the UK's "most significant" ever security operations for the coronation of King Charles.

Thousands of ceremonial troops will take part in a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey as part of the coronation.

Dress rehearsals took place overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday.

The security operation to protect the route to and from the abbey — dubbed Operation Golden Orb — will include rooftop snipers and undercover officers, as well as airport-style scanners, sniffer dogs, and a no-fly zone over central London.