LAHORE - The United Kingdom will extend full help to Pakistan in development, anti-terror efforts and for the continuation of democracy, Secretary of State for Home Department Amber Rudd said on Wednesday.

Rudd called on Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday and discussed matters of mutual interest, promotion of bilateral ties and enhancement of cooperation in various fields. Both the leaders decided to take further speedy steps to promote bilateral cooperation in the future.

Praising the excellent measures for development in various fields by the Punjab government, the UK secretary said that excellent measures of public welfare had been taken in Punjab and she was pleased to note visible improvement especially in the field of education, health and the protection of women’s rights in the province.

“I am impressed by the performance of the chief minister,” she remarked. Rudd said the UK and Pakistan are making best cooperation and we are moving ahead jointly in the fields of development and progress. “Certainly the Punjab government has achieved various important targets which are also a guideline for us.”

She congratulated the chief minister over the elimination of child labour from brick kilns and said ridding the children of child labour is your achievement.

“The UK is standing with Pakistan for development and progress and we are also with Pakistan in the journey of democracy and the UK will continue cooperation in the fields of anti-terrorism, development and progress,” she told the CM.

Shehbaz Sharif and the UK secretary also held talks at the delegation level. Speaking on the occasion, the CM said Pakistan and the UK have historic ties which are based on mutual respect and the increasing cooperating between both countries is praiseworthy. “We respect and highly regard the cooperation by the UK in the fields of education, health, skill development and other fields,” he added.

Director International Richard Clarke, UK High Commissioner Thomas Drew, special adviser Muhammad Hussein, Policy Adviser Charles Edwards, President of DIFD in Pakistan Joanna Reid and others were included in the UK delegation. Provincial ministers Rana Sanaullah, Sardar Ayub Gadhi, Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz, Khalil Tahir Sandhu, Jehangir Khanzada, advisers Dr Umer Saif, Rana Maqbool Ahmed, chief secretary, IGP and other concerning officials were also present in the occasion.

MESSAGE OF UNITY ON PAKISTAN DAY

Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has stressed the need of same unity and harmony today that was displayed on March 23, 1940.

In his message on the Pakistan Day, the CM congratulated the nation and said we can make progress and make Pakistan greater by displaying determination and harmony to accomplish dreams of the founding fathers - Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. “Pakistan was not established for loot, plunder, rigging, nepotism and extortion, but this country was established to give equal rights of progress to all and for justified distribution of resources.

“Unfortunately the rulers of the past distracted the country from its real destination but now Pakistan is heading towards its real destination under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” he added. Shehbaz said the Resolution of Pakistan played an important role in the establishment of Pakistan and March 23 is also the day to pay homage to mujahedeen of Pakistan Movement.

He also stressed the need to end unjust difference between the rich and the poor, saying that we need to do hard work to achieve the objectives of the establishment of Pakistan.

“To achieve a respectable status in the world, we should resolve that we will struggle for the progress and development of Pakistan with faith, unity and discipline.

“We should promise on the Pakistan Day that we will leave no stone unturned for a respectable place of Pakistan in the world.”