LONDON: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will visit the United Kingdom on Saturday to hold talks with British officials on Afghanistan, cancellation of England’s tour to Pakistan and other issues, ARY News reported on Thursday citing sources.
During his visit, Shah Mehmood Qureshi will meet his British counter counterpart and senior British government officials to discuss the Afghanistan issue.
The foreign minister will also address a key defence think tank during his visit and will hold talks with British-Pakistani community leaders.
It was learnt that FM Qureshi will raise ECB’s decision to cancel Pakistan tour with UK officials.
Sources said that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s withdrawal from the men and women teams’ tour of Pakistan has made UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior officials unhappy.
According to publication ‘The Times’, the Prime Minister and senior officials within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office believe that the decision, which was made on player welfare grounds rather than issues of security by the ECB, has damaged relations between the UK and Pakistan government.
On Tuesday, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Christian Turner, issued a statement via Twitter, distancing himself from the ECB’s decision not to tour, which he said had been made independently of the country’s government.
“The British High Commission supported the tour, did not advise against in on security grounds, and our travel advice for Pakistan has not changed,” Turner said.
“I have been a champion of international cricket’s return to Pakistan and will redouble my efforts in advance of England’s autumn 2022 tour. My thanks to all at the PCB who have worked so hard in support of that.”
It must be noted that England had to play two T20Is at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on 13 and 14 October.