Britain to increase aid for Pakistan: British official

21:29, June 23, 2010      

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British Foreign Secretary William Hague Wednesday said that the United Kingdom will increase development aid for Pakistan to 665 million pounds over the next four years.

"This would include 250 million pounds for education programme and 50 million pounds to support stabilization and reconstruction in areas affected by conflict on border with Afghanistan," Hague told a joint press conference with Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

He said the United Kingdom is keen to deepen strategic dialogue with Pakistan, adding the United Kingdom would support efforts of the Pakistan government for a stable, prosperous and democratic future of the country.

Asked to comment on the report of the London School of Economics alleging that Pakistan intelligence agency is supporting Taliban, the British Foreign Secretary pointed out that Pakistan has already strongly denied the report.

He said Pakistan has made enormous sacrifices in its capacity as frontline state in the war against terror. "It has made immense military effort in which many of its soldiers lost their lives in battling against violent extremism and that must be understood all over the world," he said.

To a question about UK's special relationship with India, the British Foreign Secretary said the world economy is changing in many ways and fastest economies of the world are outside Europe. He said the United Kingdom is basing its relations with India in that perspective but his country has equally strong relationship with Pakistan.

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