SIALKOT-The British High Commission in Islamabad organised a special photo exhibition titled "Shared History, Shared Future" in a private school here to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the UK-Pakistan relations.

Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Asif and Acting British High Commissioner Mr Richard Crowder jointly inaugurated and launched the exhibition. On the occasion, they said that such exhibition could help develop the good and strengthened relations between UK and Pakistan.

Khawaja Asif said both Pakistan and UK enjoyed the cordial relations which were getting a boost with the passage of time, as they will continue their journey of glory, prosperity and mutual cooperation putting Pakistan towards the right direction of development.

The participants including the students and teachers showed keen interest in the ancient and rare pictures displayed at the exhibition about the British traditions and culture, which were revealing the British history.

The Acting British high commissioner visited Sialkot to launch the exhibition. Photos about 70 years of UK-Pakistan relations have been showcased in the exhibition. This exhibition will remain open to the general public from 20 to 22 August at Classic School System in Sialkot.

The Foreign Minister of Pakistan joined the acting high commissioner as chief guest along with senior representatives of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL). During his day-long visit to Sialkot, Mr Richard Crowder also visited Halifax & Co (Pvt) Ltd which is a 79-year-old bagpipe manufacturing factory and the Malik Sports factory in Sialkot.

He said, “This is my first visit to Sialkot, and I am delighted to be here in the trade hub of Pakistan". He further said, “The photographs that are displayed today in this exhibition in Sialkot showcase the strong links that have existed over the last 70 years between the UK and Pakistan. Whether through the construction of girls’ schools through UK Aid or various British Council programmes on education, the UK is a strong and committed partner to Pakistan.”

He added, “In Sialkot, our focus is on building on the strong trade links between our two countries (UK and Pakistan). The UK recently increased our trade team in Pakistan and we look forward to working with businessmen from this city and across Pakistan to increase trade between our two countries.”

He disclosed that over the coming months, the British High Commission’s ‘Shared History. Shared Future’ photography exhibition will tour over 10 cities in both the UK and Pakistan. Throughout the year, the British High Commission, in collaboration with the Pakistan High Commission in London, is organising several events and activities to mark 70 years of UK and Pakistan’s relations. Details of these events are regularly featured on the British High Commission’s social media pages.

SIAL Chairman Khawar Anwar Khawaja, CEO Mir Haider Ali Khan, Chairman Fazal Jillani, University of Gujrat (UoG) CEO Rehan Younas, School Chairman Faisal Manzur, local MPAs and senior journalists attended the event.

Talking to the media, Khawaja Asif said that the PML-N government firmly believes in strengthening the national institutions.

He said that the strengthening of the national institutions was in the larger national interest. All the institutions should work for the national development and prosperity.

Asif urged the political parties to do the politics of national interest besides promoting the tradition of positive political criticism, saying that the national interest should be the main focus of everyone instead of doing the negative politics of conflict to weaken the country.

He said that he would be ready to play his pivotal role for restoration of democratic negotiations between the PML-N government and the PPP, if the PML-N leadership wished so. He said that PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari always played a pivotal role for strengthening the true democracy, democratic system and democratic norms and values in the country.

"The PML-N would never allow anyone to derail democracy in the country, as it is the high time for everyone to come forward and play active role in strengthening democracy and democratic system in the country," he added. He said, “Though positive opposition and criticism is beauty of democracy, all of us should do the positive criticism for bringing betterment instead of weakening the country politically and economically.

He said that the political and economic stability was vital for national development and prosperity.

To a question, the foreign minister added that General (R) Pervaiz Musharraf has no space in prevailing political and democratic scenario and even in the future.