LONDON: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be visiting Islamabad and Lahore as well as the northern areas during their upcoming visit to Pakistan, a statement released by their communication secretary said on Friday. “This is the most complex tour undertaken by the Duke and Duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations,” it said.

“From the modern leafy capital Islamabad, to the vibrant city of Lahore, the mountainous countryside in the north, and the rugged border regions to the west, the visit will span over 1,000km, and will take in Pakistan’s rich culture, its diverse communities, and its beautiful landscapes,” the statement released by the Kensington Palace said.

Prince William and Kate Middleton will be visiting Pakistan from Oct 14 to 18.

The official statement also said that throughout the tour the couple would visit programmes which empower young people and see how communities in Pakistan are responding and adapting to the effects of climate change.

“This is a key area of interest for Their Royal Highnesses; they are keen to learn more about the climate change issues affecting Pakistan and our world, and the positive work being undertaken to combat these challenges,” the secretary said.

Additionally, the couple will spend time understanding the security picture in Pakistan.

“They will learn more about the challenges and opportunities, both of the past and today. The UK has been a key partner for Pakistan, and the Duke and Duchess will meet UK and Pakistan military personnel who are sharing expertise to improve security.”

The couple is expected to meet “children and young people, leaders from government, business and the charity sector, inspiring conservationists, and well-known cultural figures and sporting stars”.

It 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.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2019