Saturday, August 26, 2023
ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner to Pakistan Jane Marriott praised the sacrifices made by the Pakistan Army in the war against terrorism and asserted that the high price paid by the armed forces was not only to maintain peace in the country but to keep the world safe.
The British envoy’s resolve came during a special interview with Geo News on Saturday wherein she stated that Pakistan is on the frontlines in the war against terrorism and her country's most important ally.
“My condolences to the families of those who sacrificed their lives in the war against terrorism,” Marriott said.
The envoy said that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other terrorist organisations, including the Haqqani Group, continued to operate in Afghan territory which was a matter of concern.
“Taliban should take action against them. If they are not stopped from terrorist activities, they are a threat not only to Pakistan but to the entire world, as everyone saw on 9/11,” she said.
She further added that the war between Ukraine and Russia was the most watched on UK TV channels but that didn’t mean “we’ve forgotten about Afghanistan. The eyes of the world are still on the problem and situation of Afghanistan. Britain is working on how to negotiate with the Taliban government in Afghanistan.”
“In Doha, all parties participated in dialogue with the Taliban. There is concern over the humanitarian situation in half of Afghanistan, particularly the lack of rights for girls and women, for which we will continue to negotiate with the Taliban government,” she explained.
“We are told that the security situation in Afghanistan has improved with the arrival of Taliban, so this is because the Taliban used to attack the Afghan security forces and people, which worsened the security situation. However, the important development is that during the rule of the Taliban, there has been a huge reduction in the cultivation of heroin, which was destroying the lives of young people around the world. Their efforts should be recognised.”
Furthermore, on the rehabilitation of Ukraine, Marriott said that construction companies in Pakistan could play an important role in the reconstruction of the war-stricken country and it would be fully supported.
“There is a large number of skilled labour in Pakistan who can work there for the reconstruction of Ukraine. Russia attacked Ukraine a year and a half ago. Everyone has seen the horrific pictures of Russia’s bombing of Ukraine and the treatment of prisoners of war. Russia is a bad country that attacked its small neighbour. The West will continue to support Ukraine as an independent country. Ukraine never thought of attacking Russia. The war started when Russia attacked Ukraine,” she added.
Moreover, in response to a question, Marriott said that climate change could not be ignored.
“Pakistan’s position regarding climate change is very critical which is evidenced by the floods. Britain has seen the industrial revolution, so it has to work with the world to minimise the damage caused by climate change. Dealing with climate change requires money all over the world. In this regard, the UK will fully support Pakistan in international climate financing through private investors,” she said.
The envoy added that the current volume of trade between Pakistan and Great Britain was 4.4 billion pounds (Rs1,672 billion), which was a huge amount.
“Pakistan and the UK understand each other’s needs, which makes us good trading partners,” Marriott concluded.