UK Minister for South Asia Lord Ahmad arrives in Pakistan

10:39 PM | 22 Jun, 2021
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The Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, has arrived in Pakistan for a two day visit. His visit, covering two cities, will further enhance the friendship between the UK and Pakistan.

During his stay in Pakistan, Lord Ahmad is expected to meet a number of government Ministers and Provincial leaders, including the Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar and Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar.

Lord Ahmad will discuss the importance of maximising our unique bilateral partnerships to tackle global challenges including climate change (with the UK hosting COP26 later this year) and the response to COVID-19; and how we can boost the trading potential between the UK and Pakistan.  The Minister will also promote the UK’s role as a force for good by meeting faith leaders (including from minority groups).

Lord Ahmad’s visit is the first in-person visit by a UK Minister to Pakistan since the start of the pandemic, and follows the recent video message from Prime Minister Boris Johnson for World Environment Day and the recent phone call between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Lord Ahmad said: “The world has changed a great deal since I last visited Pakistan, a country close to my heart and roots.  Loss and separation due to COVID-19 has impacted us all. But the pandemic has brought us closer too.  More than ever before must stand shoulder to shoulder as we tackle global challenges.

Which is why during my visit I look forward to discussing how we can work together using the best of our international dosti to build back greener to protect our world against climate change, build back better with more prosperity for both our great nations, build back safer to protect all our people from COVID-19, and build back for all ensuring that girls get the education they deserve and by making a stand against hate and prejudice.”

Launch of UK support to the brick kiln sector to reduce emission

Over 11,000 brick kilns are concentrated in Punjab’s agricultural heartland. As well as improving air quality and reducing smog, cleaner brick production processes will have a positive impact on crop productivity and better health outcomes.

The UK has announced support for a capacity building initiative for the brick kiln sector in Punjab.

This initiative will help train 100 kiln owners and operators in efficient use of the new zig-zag technology. In addition it will also create a cadre of master trainers that will help scale up with this effort across the country, which will significantly reduce emissions, whilst simultaneously improving productivity.

UK-supported, targeted training on Zig Zag Technology for the brick industry will help embed cleaner brick production practices in Punjab, which could be scaled across the country. 

The UK will continue to support Pakistan on its climate journey through our strong development partnership, and UK companies specialising in renewable energy and sustainable technologies.

The UK and Pakistan are (continue to be) the best of international friends with the UK committed to supporting Pakistan tackle its climate challenge as part of its “Road to COP26”.

As COP26 hosts, we congratulate Pakistan on recent World Environment Day activities and for setting global leadership example including with the no new coal announcement & 10 billion tree initiative and would also like to see further ambitious Climate commitments coming from Pakistan. 

The UK are proud to be providing support to Pakistan to help in their climate efforts, including to reduce emissions from brick kilns, and to provide technical support on natural capital accounting. 

The UK supports Pakistan’s government and local communities to adapt to climate change and improve resilience through emergency disaster planning, and helping to increase the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency.