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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Kate Middleton, Prince William: Celebrated royal couple set for Pakistan tour

After a few setbacks to their first visit to Pakistan, the royal couple Kate Middleton and Prince William are heading to Pakistan next month. The last visit was cancelled owing to the tension between India and Pakistan over Kashmir

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, and Kate Middleton will pay an official visit to Pakistan next month on October 14-15th, announced Kensington Palace on Friday.

Prince William and Kate Middleton will attend a special function at Aga Khan Centre in London on October 2nd hosted by Prince Karim Aga Khan.

The visit of the royal couple was first announced in June, however, uncertainty loomed on their visit following the rising tensions between India and Pakistan on Kashmir issue in August. In August, Kensington Palace had announced they are closely monitoring the situation and suspended the visit for an indefinite period.

The unstable law-and-order situation in Pakistan had deterred the international community from visiting Pakistan.

The latest announcement on the visit of the royal couple to Pakistan is encouraging since it testifies that Pakistan is endeavoring hard to reinvigorate its ties with the international community.

Royal Couple’s Visit to Pakistan

The royal couple was to visit Pakistan in Autumn upon the request of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The visit would be a royal couple’s first tour to Pakistan.

An official statement released in June had announced the Royal couple, William and Kate’s visit to Pakistan. The announcement marked the first visit by any member of the royal family 13 years after Charles and Camilla (Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwell) toured the country in 2006.

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“Further details (of the visit) will be advised in due course,” Kensington Palace had tweeted.

What do the Royal Experts Say?

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams in his statement to a UK-based media outlet asserted that India’s revocation of Article 370 and 35-A has created an unpleasant situation between India and Pakistan, which has struck uncertainty to the royal couple’s first-ever visit to Pakistan. Adding that the situation “will be monitored closely by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its evaluation of how events proceed will determine whether the visit goes ahead.”

Kate and William’s visit to Pakistan could be risky even if the FCO gave the Cambridges the go-ahead to travel to Islamabad, according to Mr. Fitzwilliams. He said: “There is considerable sensitivity in the sub-continent concerning the British connection as both India and Pakistan are former British colonies.

“The official visit by William and Kate to Pakistan in the autumn is likely to be more high profile than that by Charles and Camilla in 2006 as the Cambridges are so much in the news.”

Mr. Fitzwilliams asserted William and Kate Middleton had been warned not to comment on Kashmir issue during their visit to Pakistan.

Pakistan anticipates to hosts a successful trip of royal couple unlike in the past when the visits of the royal family were marred by controversies.

Royal editor Russell Myers described the future King and Queen’s tour to Pakistan significant. He believes that it is the biggest trip in terms of the pressure that comes with it and the security situation in the region. Adding that the visit of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker to Pakistan in 2006 was fraught and marred by security concerns.

Pakistan’s Reaction

Dr. Muhammad Faisal, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan welcomed the announcement of Kensington Palace in a tweet. Dr. Faisal shed light on the strong bilateral relations between Pakistan and Britain, reiterated that Pakistan desires for further strengthening of the ties.

The announcement was ecstatically welcomed in Pakistan, as it marked Britain’s renewed interest in Pakistan. It was taken as a good omen for Pakistan, which has had somewhat turbulent relations with the international community. The unstable law-and-order situation in Pakistan had deterred the international community from visiting Pakistan.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Britain, Nafees Zakariya cherished the earlier announcement of the royal couple to Pakistan. “Government and the people of Pakistan warmly welcome the announcement of the Royal visit,” tweeted Pakistan’s envoy to Britain, Nafees Zakaria. “People of Pakistan cherish and fondly recall visits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to Pakistan during 1961 and 1997,” he wrote.

He added, “Upcoming Royal visit reflects the importance UK attaches to Pakistan. Both countries enjoy historical links and wish to strengthen them further.”

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The people of Pakistan have cherished the announcement of Kensington Palace and posted warm messages for the royal couple.

The History of Royal Visits to Pakistan

Pakistan anticipates to hosts a successful trip of royal couple unlike in the past when the visits of the royal family were marred by controversies.

The last visit of royal couple Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in 2006 came amid the row between Islamabad and Britain over Mirza Tahir Hussain, a British national who spent 18 years in the Pakistani death row accused of killing a taxi driver.

Mr. Fitzwilliam recalled the Queen’s state visit to India and Pakistan to mark their 50th independence in 1997 garnered the displeasure of the Pakistani legislator afters she urged the Pakistani legislators sitting in the Pakistani Parliament to settle their differences with India over the contended region.

He stated that Queen’s visit was described as a disaster in Robert Hardman’s book, ‘Queen of the World.’ On the contrary, Princess Diana’s visit to Pakistan was cherished. She had visited Pakistan for the fundraiser of Imran Khan’s cancer hospital.