LONDON: Prince William and Kate Middleton will be visiting Pakistan from Oct 14 to 18, an official statement said on Friday.

The Twitter account of Kensington Palace in a statement said that prior to the Pakistan visit the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would attend a special event at the Aga Khan Centre, London, hosted by Prince Karim Aga Khan on Oct 2, where they would engage with members of the Pakistani community.

The event in London will be held 12 days ahead of the royal couple’s visit to Pakistan and is being organised by the Aga Khan Centre with the help of the Pakistan High Commission.

The event will showcase modern Pakistani culture and will allow the Duke and Duchess to meet a range of people from Pakistan, including community leaders, those involved in British and Pakistani business, and key figures within the diaspora community including musicians, chefs and artists.

In response to the announcement of dates for the visit, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said on Twitter: “The government and the people of Pakistan look forward to the visit of the royal couple to Pakistan next month. Pakistan and the UK enjoy deep and cordial relationship. The visit will provide yet another opportunity to further strengthen the bilateral relations.”

The visit will be the first royal visit to Pakistan in 13 years. The last one was by Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who spent five days in Pakistan in 2006, visiting areas devastated by the 2005 earthquake.

Prince William’s mother, Diana, the Princess of Wales, travelled to Pakistan several times for charity work during her lifetime. She also helped raise money for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, founded by Imran Khan in 1994. Princess Diana last visited Pakistan in 1996, a year before she was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2019

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