ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly (NA) Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has said that Pakistan highly values its relations with United Kingdom (UK) and desires to further strengthen the existing ties between the two countries through enhanced economic cooperation and parliamentary ties .

Talking to the Rt. Hon. Lord Malcolm Gray Bruce who called on the Speaker NA here on Saturday, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its strategic partnership with the UK and both the countries have commonalities of views on regional and global issues. He underscored the need for regular interaction between political leadership, parliamentarians and people of both the countries that would take the existing bilateral relations between both the countries to new heights.

The Speaker urged to take notice of Indian atrocities against innocent citizens in Kashmir. He added that Pakistan is committed to UN resolutions for self-determination of the Kashmiri people and we want to settle our dispute with the discussion.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq appreciated the UK assistance to Pakistan in strengthening the legislative capacity of the Parliament and efforts undertaken to promote an inclusive democracy in Pakistan. He added that Parliamentary cooperation between the two nations needs to receive a new vigor.  He also underlined the need for promoting people to people contacts to deepen shared understanding of each other.

The Speaker NA informed him about the introduction of subject/course on Parliamentary Practices and Legislative Drafting in universities and educational institution all over the country. He also informed regarding the steps taken for austerity measures in the National Assembly Secretariat while adopting the electrification requirements through solar energy.

Lord Malcolm Gray Bruce appreciated the remarks of the Speaker and said that the UK considers Pakistan one of its close friend and an important trading partner. He said that the UK would expand the scope of its assistance plan and assist Pakistan in diverse fields. He assured the Speaker for extending maximum assistance for the building of Legislative capacity of the parliamentarians and staff.

He valued the efforts made by the parliamentarian regarding the electoral reforms for free, fair and transparent election in Pakistan for future. While discussing the role of Parliamentary Friendship Group, he said that friendship groups in both the parliament could play an important role in strengthening bilateral relations .