Prime Minister Imran Khan will likely embark on an official visit to the United Kingdom next month after his British counterpart Boris Johnson extended an invitation during a telephone call earlier this week.

The PM has been invited to the UK to watch a cricket match between Pakistan and England in Cardiff on July 8. However, it is not confirmed whether the premier will visit London during the next month. At present, the scheduling of the visit is in the works and the visit details will be finalised after that.

In case the premier goes to the UK after all the modalities are settled, he will discuss bilateral and trade relations with the UK government. He will also discuss the issue of political personalities –Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar — who are in self-imposed exile in the UK and wanted back in Pakistan.

READ MORE: Deportation or exile: what will become of Nawaz Sharif?

Imran will also meet Johnson during the probable visit. Both counterparts will discuss the Afghan Peace Process and over all regional situation.

IMRAN, BORIS TELEPHONE CALL:

Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson on Monday. The two leaders exchanged views on the current trajectory of bilateral relations, the Afghan peace process, the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

During the call, the two leaders covered a range of issues, from the tragic train crash in Sindh that killed at least 40 people on Monday morning to the Pakistan-hosted World Environment Day event with the United Nations over the weekend. They also covered the fight against coronavirus and resolved to work together to defeat the pandemic globally.

“The prime minister [Johnson] began by expressing his condolences following the tragic loss of life in the train crash in Sindh,” said a Downing Street spokesperson.

“The leaders discussed the current situation in Afghanistan. They agreed on the need to ensure a long-term future of peace and stability in the country. The prime minister reiterated that the UK would continue to use the diplomatic and development tools at our disposal to support the government of Afghanistan,” the spokesperson said.

The PM thanked Boris Johnson for his thoughtful video message for the World Environment Day event held in Islamabad on 5 June 2021.  

Imran Khan expressed the hope that Pakistan and the UK would be able to forge an even stronger partnership going forward, particularly in the domains of trade and investments. The two leaders agreed on the importance of high-level exchanges between the two countries.  

The prime minister lauded the efforts of PM Boris Johnson in effectively combating the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. He also briefed his British counterpart on measures taken by Pakistan to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic while saving lives, securing livelihoods, and stimulating the economy. The PM impressed upon the UK to revisit the decision of placing Pakistan on the Red List of travel ban countries. 

Anas Mallick is an international journalist who has been working as a field reporter for 7+ years now. With a focus on diplomacy, militancy, and conflict, Mallick's expertise involve Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. He tweets at @AnasMallick

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