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William & Kate’s visit to Pakistan may be postponed amid Kashmir tensions

Pakistan in a bid to reinvigorate its relations with international community was eager to welcome Britain’s royal couple to country later this year. Unfortunately, the visit has been postponed owing to Kashmir tensions.

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News Desk |

The Royal Couple, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, and Kate Middleton are expected to postpone their visit to Pakistan owing to the rising tensions between India and Pakistan. Pakistan and India are undergoing tough diplomatic relationship following India’s abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A.

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, which could have been the royal couple’s first tour to Pakistan, is unlikely announced the office. The visit has been postponed indefinitely.

The announcement was ecstatically welcomed in Pakistan, as it marked Britain’s renewed interest in 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 royal family 13 years after Charles and Camilla (Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwell) toured the country in 2006.

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

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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 the 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.

Pakistan and India are undergoing tough diplomatic relationship following India’s abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A.

“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.

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Pakistan’s reaction

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.

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

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.

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

Mr. Fitzwilliam recalled the Queen’s state visit to India and Pakistan to mark their 50th independence in 1997 was marred by controversy, as she urged the Pakistani legislators sitting in the Pakistani Parliament to settle their differences with India over the contended region.

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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.